11 Jun 2012

Huge African Caribbean Pacific group meeting underway in Vanuatu

1:53 pm on 11 June 2012

Ministers from the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries have been officially welcomed to Vanuatu.

The Council of Ministers' meeting of the ACP has been officially opened today.

Megan Whelan is in Port Vila.

"Vanuatu's foreign minister Alfred Carlot welcomed delegates to the meeting, saying they gather at a time of monumental challenges. He says in 2010 some 230 million people in the ACP countries were living in hunger, which is only being made worse by the global financial crisis. Mr Carlot says corruption and the undermining of the rule of law are hurdles to development in many ACP countries. He called on delegates to speak with one voice to development partners, chiefly the European Union. When the ACP ministers meet with the European Union council of ministers later this week they're expected to ask for the release of sugar funding for Fiji which has been cut off for several years."