African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP Group)

Groupe des Etats d'Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique (Groupe ACP)
Grupo de Estados de Africa, del Caribe y del Pacifico

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6 June 1975, Georgetown, on signature of the founding text, or Georgetown Agreement -- Accord de Georgetown, following signature, 28 Feb 1975, Lomé (Togo), of ACP-EEC Convention (Lomé convention) between the European Economic Community - subsequently called European Community and then European Union (EU) - and 46 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. The Convention succeeded two earlier Conventions, both called Yaoundé Convention: the first signed 20 July 1963 and which entered into force 1 July 1964; the second signed 29 July 1969 and which expired 31 Jan 1975. They established Association of the European Economic Community and the African and Malagasy States (EAMA) which, with the association between European Economic Community and the then East African Community - 1967 (EAC) - disintegrated in 1977 - was superseded by the new arrangement. Special agreements were concluded with 21 states belonging to the British Commonwealth in 1973, when the UK entered the EEC. Second ACP-EEC Convention (Lomé II) between EEC and the ACP States, signed 31 Oct 1979, Lomé, entered into force 1 Jan 1981. Third ACP-EEC Convention (Lomé III), the 3rd Lomé Agreement, signed 8 Dec 1984, entered into force in May 1985, expired 28 Feb 1990. Negotiations for Fourth ACP-EEC Convention (Lomé IV) concluded on signature of an agreement, 15 Dec 1989, entered into force in Mar 1990 for a period of 10 years, amended 4 Nov 1995, Mauritius, following mid-term review. ACP-EU Partnership Agreement (Cotonou agreement), signed 23 June 2000, Cotonou (Benin), will come into force when ratified. The ACP Group is also referred to as Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, as ACP States -- Etats ACP and as ACP Countries. Statutes of Georgetown Agreement entered in 'UNTS/1 20345'.


Ensure realization of the objectives of the Convention of Lomé (Togo); coordinate activities of ACP States in the application of the Convention; determine joint positions of ACP Group vis-à-vis the European Community on matters covered by the Convention; promote and strengthen existing solidarity of the ACP Group; contribute to development of greater and closer trade, economic and cultural relations among ACP States and among developing countries in general and, to this end, develop exchange of information among ACP States in the fields of trade, technology, industry and human resources; contribute to promotion of effective regional and interregional cooperation among ACP States and among developing countries in general and strengthen links between the regional organizations to which they belong; promote establishment of a new world economic order; promote and develop collective self reliance and greater and closer economic and trade relations among ACP States; work to ensure that the Lomé Convention contributes to the realization of common aspirations of developing countries.

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Areas of cooperation come under the following headings: Environment; Agricultural cooperation, food security and rural development (including the combating of drought and desertification); Fisheries development; Cooperation in staple commodities; Industrial development, manufacturing and transformation; Mining development; Energy development; Business development; Services development (including: objectives and principles; support services and economic development; tourism; transport, communications and informatics); Development of commerce; Cultural and social cooperation (including: taking into account of the cultural and social dimension; promotion of cultural identities and intercultural dialogue; valorization of human resources); Regional cooperation. Annex II of the Lomé Convention lists the working or processing required to be carried out on non-originating materials in order that a product can obtain originating status; textiles are covered specifically by the 1995 Mauritius amendment (Annex X). Specific commodities and resources covered by protocols of Lomé IV and its 1995 amendment are: bananas; rum; beef and veal; sugar; products within the province of the European Coal and Steel Community; forest resources (sustainable management). A new type of ACP-EU free-trade pact has been proposed by the European Commission which would stimulate economic growth among ACP states. Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) will enhance duty-free access to the EU market for exporters in ACPs and remove barriers that prevent European goods and services from entering their markets. The Programme Management Unit assists ACP countries with capacity building assistance in preparation of EPAs, including managing sub-projects in: developing specific study work and workshops aimed at developing EPA negotiating positions for ACP countries and regions; training in negotiating techniques for ACP officials; technical assistance in trade policy and consolidation of economic integration initiatives.

'Suva Declaration' and 'Suva Programme of Action', adopted 14 Apr 1977, led to a plan for implementation which was adopted 1980, Montego Bay, dealing with 6 major sectors and including recommendations, Nov 1979, of Nairobi (Kenya) Conference on the Development and Promotion of ACP Trade (adopted 1980) and of Bangui (Central African Rep) Charter on Maritime Transport (approved July 1981). Under Lomé III, stabilization of export earnings through the STABEX System offsets negative effects of major fluctuations in world prices for certain raw materials such as tea, coffee, cotton, groundnuts, bananas, timber and leather. The SYSMIN System for mining includes (repayable) assistance when production capacity falls. An additional sum is available for subsidies, special loans, risk capital and low-interest loans for development projects. Following Lomé III, areas of concern included: external debts of ACP countries; continuing decrease in prices for agricultural and mining base products and problems of access to EU markets; consequences of structural adjustments in the economies of ACP countries; creation or reinforcement of economic areas in which intra-ACP exchanges may develop. In 1987, members agreed to upgrade cooperation in technology transfer, culture and science, joint production, and development of intra-ACP enterprises; and to pursue a programme for development of transport and telecommunications links. The principal innovation of Lomé IV was aid in structural adjustment related to development objectives. A process of short-term measures of price and exchange rate stabilization was prepared by ACP countries themselves in response to the debt crisis in order to secure economic operators. The process is adapted to the particular situation in each country, having a social component and taking into account the most vulnerable social categories. Other priorities: preservation of the environment and natural resources; promotion of human rights in ACP countries; human and cultural dimensions of development programmes; health; contribution of women to development; abolition of racial, religious, cultural or social discrimination against migrant workers, students and others. Pillars of the 2000 Cotonou (Benin) Agreement are: comprehensive political dimension; participatory approaches; strengthened focus on poverty reduction; new framework for economic and trade cooperation; reform of financial cooperation.


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English, French.


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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 35 inter-governmental organizations.
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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 11 non-governmental organizations.
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Members in 76 countries
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Type I Classification

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

  • Government
    • Nation State
    • Intergovernmental Communities

UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions



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* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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