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PRESS RELEASE ON THE 90TH COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF THE AFRICAN, CARIBBEAN AND PACIFIC

20.11.2009

The Seychelles Minister for Environment, Natural Resources and Transport, Mr. Joël Morgan, led a strong six-member delegation to the 90th Council of Ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP), which was held in Brussels from 17th to 19th November 2009.

 The Council considered the report of the first meeting of the ACP Ministers of Fisheries, presented by Minister Morgan as the current Chair of the ACP Committee of Ministers responsible for Fisheries, and approved the recommendation for the establishment of a Ministerial Fisheries Mechanism, which has as overall objective to shore up political support, both within the group and from its external partners, for new approaches to fisheries governance and cooperation in fisheries, in order to ensure that fisheries and aquaculture play their just part in the social and economic development of the ACP Member States. More information on the issue is available on the ACP website on www.acp.int

 The threats of acts of piracy off the coast of Somalia were also discussed during the ACP Council and the latter, at the request of Seychelles, mandated its Committee of Ambassadors to explore how the ACP countries affected by such acts could be assisted.

 The aforementioned Council also debated on several issues of key focus and challenges currently facing the ACP Group, including the status of the second five-year revision of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement with the European Union (EU), negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the EU and the different regions of the Group, the global economic and financial crisis and the coordinated ACP position on Climate Change for the forthcoming United Nations Conference on Climate Change to be held in Copenhagen in December this year. During his intervention on the latter, Minister Morgan called for the support of the ACP Council and Member States to press for a legally binding framework on greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in the forthcoming meeting in Copenhagen.

 To note that during its session the Council also approved the appointment of Dr Mohammed CHAMBAS from Ghana as the new Secretary General of the ACP Group for the next 5 years (2010 to 2015).

 The Seychelles delegation to the 90th Council of the ACP comprised the new Principal Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mr Barry Faure; Principal Secretary for Natural Resources and Transport, Mrs. Veronique Herminie; the Ambassador Designate to the Kingdom of Belgium and the EU, Ms Vivianne Fock-Tave; Managing Director of the Seychelles Fishing Authority, Ms. Ina Henriette; and the Counsellor in the Seychelles Embassy in Belgium, Mrs. Audrey Dine-Angras.

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