The Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP Group) was formally established through the signing of the Georgetown Agreement in Guyana, in 1975 shortly after the signing of the Lomé (I) Convention, which came into effect in 1976. The Lomé Convention was an international aid and trade agreement between the ACP and the European Community (EC). It was renegotiated and renewed three times: Lomé II (January 1981 – February 1985), Lomé III (March 1985 – 1990), Lomé IV (1990 – 1999). In 2000, the Lomé Convention was succeeded by the ACP/EU Cotonou Agreement, also known as the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement, as the main framework of cooperation between the parties. The ACP/EU Cotonou Agreement had a first revision in 2005. The negotiations for a second revision of the agreement concluded in May 2010 in order to reflect the changes which have taken place over the last decade in different aspects the world arena.
Lomé development aid was dispersed primarily through the European Development Fund (EDF). For each Lomé Convention, there was therefore a corresponding EDF. Under Lomé I, II and III (corresponding to the 4th, 5th and 6th EDFs respectively), the function of coordinating and monitoring of EDF-financed regional projects was executed by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat. However, for Lomé IV, two new Caribbean ACP States became signatories the Convention, namely Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Since neither of these countries were members of CARICOM at that time (Haiti became a full member of CARICOM in 2002; the Dominican Republic is not a member of CARICOM), the need emerged to institutionalize a new forum for consultation on regional integration and cooperation. It must be noted that Suriname joined the Convention in 1979 under Lome II, many years before it became a member of CARICOM in July 1995.
The Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) was therefore established as a political group in October 1992 to provide that forum for consultation. CARIFORUM was then charged with the management and coordination of the programming of Caribbean regional resources under the 7th and subsequent EDFs.
The official languages of CARIFORUM are English, Spanish, French and Dutch and the working language is English.
The Objectives of CARIFORUM
The overriding objectives of CARIFORUM are as follows:
To manage and coordinate policy dialogue between the Caribbean Region and the European Union; and
To promote integration and cooperation in the Caribbean. ( Caribbean Community Secretariat)