The African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Group of States today hosted day one of two (October 30 - 31, 2017) of the 1st ACP Non-State Actors meeting in Brussels, Belgium. The meeting brings together representatives of NSAs from the 6 regions of the ACP Group to examine issues of common interest to the Group with regards to the SDGs, climate change, private sector development and the future of ACP-EU relations post Cotonou.

The main objective of the meeting is to provide a platform for NSAs views ont he process of defining, implementing and monitoring strategies for a coherent ACP approach and to effectively translate development objectives into results at the national level.

Leading the Caribbean delegation is CAIC Secretary Dav-Ernan Kowlessar who is also the Chair of the CARIFORUM side of the CARIFORUM-EU Consultative Committee on the EPA. The Caribbean delegation is comprised of the following: -

CAFRA - Flavia Cherry
CAFAN - Jethro Greene
ALLIANZA - Addys Then Marte
CCL - Andrew Lewis
ADIH - Georges B. Sassine
CYEN - Reginald Burke

The issues for consideration at the meeting are: -
The Future of the ACP Group under the theme 'The ACP We Want' under three strategic pillars.
1. Trade, industrialisation and services
2. Development cooperation, technology, science and innovation and research
3. Political dialogue and advocacy

The Future of ACP-EU relations Post 2020
One of the NSAs identified in the Cotonou Agreement is the private sector. The role to be played by the private sector in ACP states' social and economic development aims at:
1. Improving the business climate for private sector development
2. Developing and strengthening entrepreneurship and MSMEs
3. Increasing access to financing for MSMEs and strengthening competitiveness and access for MSMEs to the national, regional and global markets.