Accra, June 28, GNA - The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama returned from Maputo, Mozambique on Monday evening where he attended the Fourth Summit of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Heads of State and Government, which took place from June 23 to 24 2004. The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo; Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Akwesi Osei Adjei; Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr Clemence Eledi and Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiatives, Hajia Alima Mahama accompanied him.
Speaking to newsmen on arrival, Mr Adjei said the Summit, which was attended by 78 ACP countries discussed, among other things, issues on peace, security and stability; the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), ACP Relation with the European Union and other international partners and cooperation among ACP countries.
He said the Vice President addressed the summit and pointed out that an atmosphere of peace, security and stability was essential for development and called for efforts to find lasting solutions to the conflicts in ACP countries, particularly in Africa.
Mr Adjei said Alhaji Mahama referred to the various conflict resolution mechanisms and the efforts of the African Union, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other ACP regions and called for increased international support to make them more effective. On ACP-EU relations, he said, the Vice President observed that in spite of EU's aid and trade concessions to ACP countries over the years, the latter had remained largely underdeveloped and heavily indebted. He said Alhaji Mahama called for the simplification of the development and aid delivery process and the study of the impact of the EU expansion on ACP countries by credible institutions, including the Economic Commission for Africa.
The Vice President also asked ACP countries to diversify their exports, process their primary commodities, expedite action on their respective regional integration programmes and strengthen their unity in respect of trade negotiations at the World Trade Organization.
On the MDGs, Mr Adjei said Vice President Mahama noted that given the current poor economic performance in African countries it was unlikely that the continent would be able to achieve the goals by the stipulated year of 2015.
He, therefore, called for greater ACP-EU cooperation towards strengthening ACP economies.
Mr Adjei said the Vice President also called for commitment to good governance and effective economic policies by ACP countries. He said the Vice President also took the opportunity to exchange views on various issues with other ACP Leaders and officials of the ACP secretariat and EU Commission.
Some Ministers of State and Officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs met the Vice President on arrival at the Kotoka International Airport.