ACP summit in Kenya calls for robust multilateral system
The ninth summit of African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) heads of state and government opened in Nairobi on Monday with a call for the establishment of a robust multilateral system to promote fair trade and hasten inclusive growth, peace and stability in the global south.
Seventeen heads of state and 70 of the 79 ACP Member States were in attendance at the Opening.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said in his opening remarks that a rule-based world order should be strengthened in order to boost action on pressing challenges like poverty, conflicts, violent extremism and climate change.
"Today's multi-polar world is characterized by competing geopolitical interests, new challenges to peace, security and movement of people.
However, we remain committed to becoming a beacon of hope for multilateralism," said Kenyatta.
Dozens of heads of state and government, ministers, representatives of UN agencies, industry executives and scholars are attending the ACP summit in Nairobi whose theme is "A transformed ACP committed to multilateralism".
Kenyatta said that developing countries should advocate for a reformed multilateral system that promotes balanced trade, integration, connectivity and response to climate change.
"As ACP member states, we should be firm in advocating for a fair multilateral trading system that safeguards our economies from unfair trading practices," said Kenyatta who took over as president of the ACP group of states for the next three years.
Patrick Gomes, secretary-general of the ACP group of states said the Nairobi summit presented an opportunity for developing countries to reaffirm their fidelity to the rules-based global system that advances equitable growth, good governance, peace and cohesion.
"We need to commit ourselves to multilateralism despite the crisis it has experienced in order to ensure that democracy, peace and prosperity prevails in our respective countries," said Gomes.
He said that the ACP group of states will negotiate for treaties that enhance market access for their product as a means to eradicate extreme poverty, inequality and unemployment.
Gomes said that developing countries will continue to champion low carbon development through the enactment of sound legislation and the adoption of cleaner technologies.
The first ACP Summit of Heads of State and Government was held in Libreville, Gabon, on 6 and 7 November 1997, during which the ACP Leaders undertook to meet on a regular basis. Consequently, ACP Heads of State and Government have met every three years on average. (Xinhua/