The work of the Eminent Persons Group is a significant exercise for the ACP Group. The creation of the EPG was an initiative of the former Secretary General Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas in response to the need to engage stakeholders on the ground in ACP countries in the debate on the future perspectives for the ACP Group. As the organisation goes through a process of self-evaluation and renewal, with the aim of becoming more active, visible and effective in helping its populations, a group of independent high profile personalities accepted the task of reviewing the past experiences of the ACP and formulating possible ways forward.
The EPG was formally established through Decision No. 2/XCVI/12 of the ACP Council of Ministers, taken in Malabo in December 2012 and endorsed by the ACP Summit of Heads of State and Government. The decision sanctioned the group’s mandate to widen and deepen reflections on the future of the ACP Group in its regions and the South; to envision the future of the ACP Group in a changing and challenging global environment; to examine options for reform to shape the ACP Group as a contemporary organisation that is responsive to the aspirations and expectations of the citizens of its member states; and to hone its decision-making bodies and its Secretariat into a stronger more effective framework of cooperation and partnership.
The EPG plans to hold several rounds consultations with stakeholders in the six major ACP regions (West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands). These involve sessions with government officials, parliamentarians and members of civil society, aiming to garner key contributions that must be compiled, reviewed and reflected in the EPG’s final report. At the same time, input from ACP people from all walks of life is strongly encouraged, through online discussions on this website.
Interim reports of the work are due when the ACP Council of Ministers meet and a final report will be submitted to the ACP Heads of State and Government at the end of the EPG’s mandate in December 2014.