After two days of deliberations and intense meetings, Civil Society Delegates to the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Civil Society Forum on the 10th and 11th Dec. elected Lawman Lynch as the President of the ACP Civil Society Forum.

Lynch, who was inducted late last week in Belgium, will serve the organization in the capacity of 3rd ACP Civil Society Forum President and Executive, for the next two years. Lynch, have served on numerous organizations locally and was recently reinstated in his position of 1st Vice President of the Kingston and St. Andrew Action Forum (KSAAF). In his latest post Lynch will have a mammoth of task to achieve in keeping with the objectives outlined in the 2009 Declaration of the Forum.

In the new reigns of ACP Civil Society Forum Lynch will be expected to enact new structural adjustment under his leadership, such as the integration of Regional Vice Presidents from all six (6) ACP Regions (Africa West, Africa East, Africa North, Africa South, Caribbean and Pacific) and National Focal Points in all seventy eight (78) Member States, who would form the Core of the Forum.

Speaking at the appointment Sir John Kaputin, Secretary General of the ACP States urged Civil Society leaders of Member States to use their expertise and to work diligently in achieving national, regional and international goals, as the role of Civil Society and other Non-State Actors are critical components to Global development.

Speaking to Belgian Press Lynch gave a preview of initiatives he will lead while working within the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and the mandate of the adopted Plan of Action of the Civil Society meeting held in Entebbe, Uganda in October 1997. “Under my leadership focus will be placed on the promotion of culture as a means of national, regional and international development; we will also look at sustainable youth development; the fight against HIV and AIDS; how far are ACP Member States in relation to the MDGs; negotiating with all stakeholders, especially the EU in relation of ACP States development among other mandates outlined in the 2009 Declaration”.

This is quite an achievement for Lynch, as the work of the ACP Civil Society Forum extends over seventy (70) nations. Though his age proved to be a challenge in the election (the youngest to be elected), Lynch had won the support of the Caribbean Region before being ratified by the General Assembly and his experience in the area of Civil Society and Non-State initiatives rivaled all participants. The Caribbean State of Jamaica is known to produce young international achievers, the world’s fastest man.

The ACP is a group of countries, currently 79 (48 African, 16 Caribbean and 15 Pacific), created in 1975 by the Georgetown Agreement. Sustainable Development, poverty reduction with member states and integration in the world’s economy are among the groups’ main objectives. All states except Cuba are signatories of the Contonou Agreement with the European Union. The Contonou Agreement was signed Benin in June 2000 and is the successor to the Lomé Conventions.

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