By Nikita Espangel
Five countries in Micronesia owe outstanding fees as members of the African Carribean and Pacific group of states or the ACP group. The five countries are the Federated States of Micronesia, advice Republic of the Marshall Islands, Palau, Nauru, and Niue. For the last 10 years, the countries have accrued millions of dollars in outstanding fees to the ACP Secretariat.
During the 2010 Pacific Islands Forum held in Cook Islands, ACP Secretary General Dr. Mohamed Chambas in his message to Pacific leaders stated “if this issue is not resolved, it could be one of the contributing factors that will force the ACP to dispense off the Pacific from participating in the ACP Group.”
On Dcember 13, the 7th summit for the heads of state and government for the ACP met in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea to discuss the “[group’s] challenges in the face of financial crisis, globalization, changing aid modalities as well as the appearance of new emerging markets.” During the summit, Roy Mickey Joy, Vanuatu’s Ambassador to the EU, commented on the attendance of Pacific Leaders including Micronesia noting “ACP Group is the only geopolitical group that has a very strong cohesive nature. We need to strengthen our voice inside the ACP to be able to take ACP to another level which would also bring substantial benefit [to the Pacific].”
The group was formed in 1975 with members from Africa, Carribean, and the Pacific. It now has 79 members, 15 of which are Pacific Islands countries. The group’s main objectives are sustainable development and poverty reduction within its member states as well as their integration greater integration into the world economy.
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