29 May 2006

ACP delegates arrive for conference in PNG

2:03 pm on 29 May 2006

Regional delegates are arriving in Papua New Guinea today for this week's African, Carribean and Pacific joint meeting with European Union representatives.

EU delegates will also start arriving from tomorrow for what is the first time PNG has hosted a meeting of this size, with more than 600 delegates.

The five-day programme starts today with the ACP Council of Ministers Meeting which continues until Wednesday before the ACP-EU joint meeting on June 1st and 2nd.

ACP ministers are expected to discuss the development of the region's Economic Partnership Agreement, while the joint meeting will focus on the future of European aid to the region.

The Head of the EU office in PNG, Ambassador Aldo Dell'Ariccia, has praised PNG for its preparations.

"This is the first step in an operation which is in a sense a rehabilitation of PNG which usually has a very bad press internationally. And the government administration is doing its best in order to demonstrate that this bad reputation is not deserved."

The EU's Aldo Dell'Ariccia.