On 1-2 November 2018, Yentyl Williams, Founder & Director of ACP YN represented the network at the ACP Secretariat and Business ACP’s private sector consultations on the Post Cotonou Negotiations in Bridgetown, Barbados. The consultations were formally opened by Viwanou Gnassounou, Assistant-SG of the ACP Secretariat (see video intervention here), Hon. Sandra Husbands, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados (see video intervention here), and H.E Daniela Tramacere, Ambassador of the EU to Barbados (see video intervention here). The consultations brought together 80 key stakeholders to with 4 specific objectives:
- To inform the ACP Private Sector on Post-Cotonou Negotiation process and issues;
- To develop a private sector position on the future relationship among the ACP states;
- To input and issue an ACP private sector position on Post-Cotonou negotiations;
- To officially launch the “ACP Business Forum”.
The plenary session that preceded the consultations included presentations on the following three pillars:
- Trade in goods and Services, by H.E Colin Connelly, Ambassador of Trinidad & Tobago to the EU, Chair of the Technical Negotiating team on this issue (see video intervention here).
- Investment and Finance, by H.E Haymandoyal Dillum, Ambassador of Mauritius to the EU, Chair of the ACP Sub-Committee on Investment and private sector (see video intervention here).
- Industrialisation, by Yvonne Chilese, Private Sector Expert, ACP Secretariat (see video intervention here and here).
Start of #ACP #privatesector consultations with @PressACP & 80 representatives from the 6 regions. Honoured to be rapporteur on #industrialisation & in the final drafting committee-contributing to #ACPEU #postCotonou relations. @EUinBarbados @mfagovtt @supportsandra #ACPYOUTHTALK pic.twitter.com/7ITdWDQiHQ
— Yentyl Williams (@yentyl_w) November 1, 2018
During the plenary, Yentyl raised three issues:
- ACP YPN has worked effectively with the institutions to establish the Youth Forums of the EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly, and moreover, has been involved in other consultations processes such as the ACP Non-State Actors consultations (Nov. 2017). To what extent can we be assured that these advances in terms of youth participation and representation would be guaranteed in the post-Cotonou setting?
- How will ACP Youth Entrepreneurship programmes be integrated within the post-Cotonou framework both at the the joint EU-ACP level and at the level of the ACP Secretariat and member states? ACP Youth have continually called for youth entrepreneurship programmes, including intra-ACP exchanges (see previous declarations).
- How will private sector be harnessed to boost the participation and representation of ACP youth with regards to (i) scholarships to pursue advanced masters at the College of Europe, to overcome the ACP exceptionalism that currently exists in EU external relations; (ii) internship opportunities, including at the ACP Secretariat, and (iii) advocacy at key events such as the annual European Development Days (where ACP YPN annually takes delegations of ACP Youth – see here).
The sessions were divided into the three aforementioned pillar areas and Yentyl was appointed rapporteur on pillar 3 – Industrialisation. For further information from the ACP Secretariat on the consultation see here (EN) and here (FR).
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