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“As we map out our future therefore, there is need to find ways that will make us be able to finance ourselves if we have to be truly equal partners with the European Union,” she noted. “While acknowledging the fact that the group’s relationship with the European Union is likely to endure for some years to come, it will equally be wrong for us to take such a relationship for granted. The fact that Europe itself is changing, both in terms of geopolitical priorities and institutional architecture, is a strong reminder for us to double our efforts to explore all the possibilities of re-positioning the group in the global arena.”

Ambassador Kabwe further said whilst maintaining the group’s cooperation with the European Union, there is need to double efforts of exploring the South-South linkages, especially with the emerging economic powers commonly known as the BRICS.
“We should not accept a situation where the ACP is the largest coalition of the world’s poor and yet it is full of rich natural resources. As the group moves to re-position itself, there is need to develop mechanism that will assist in better harnessing of these resources for the betterment of our people,” she said.
And Ambassador Kabwe invited all ACP countries to the 20th Session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation [UNWTO] General Assembly to be co-hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe next year.
“As I conclude, let me on behalf of my colleague, the Zimbabwean Ambassador and indeed on my own behalf, take this opportunity to inform this August House that Zambia and Zimbabwe will be co-hosting the 2013 20th Session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly. I therefore take this opportunity to extend an invitation to the family of the ACP group. Please, come and attend the Conference so as to be able to show-case the group’s tourism potential whilst sampling the natural beauty of one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Mighty Victoria Falls,” she said. Let me assure you all colleagues that the visit to the Falls will not only give you the ACP an opportunity to be heard, but will energise the group’s efforts of reaching out to other development partners.”

 Issued by:  Date: 25th July, 2012

Lambwe Kachali
First Secretary for Press and Public Relations
Brussels.

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