Tribute to ACP civil society activist, Roosevelt O. King

The ACP Secretariat joins the global network of ACP Civil Society Forum (ACP CSF) Platform members in mourning the passing on 9 November of Mr. Roosevelt O. King, who was recognised as a stalwart and avid representative of the ACP CSF and a tireless advocate for a more participatory role for ACP civil society under the framework of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement.

Mr. King was instrumental in organising the 1st ACP Civil Society Forum in 2001, which brought together civil society organisations from Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa and Southern Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean regions in collaboration, ultimately leading to the 1st ACP Civil Society Declaration and a Plan of Action to strengthen civil society structures at national, sub-regional and global levels.

Mr. Roosevelt O. King remained a steadfast and energetic spokesperson on the need for improved communication on the provisions of the Cotonou Agreement, paving a consistent path of policy dialogue with the ACP Secretariat over the course of 14 years, while supporting the principle for civil society organisations to be well-organised, have clearly defined interests, to not represent the interest of political parties, to be representative and to operate in a transparent and accountable manner within the broader framework of national, regional and all-ACP Programmes.

A founding member of the ACP CSF, it remained his vision in 2015 for ACP civil society organisations to play a complementary role in the development cooperation and policy dialogue process. His leadership also saw the creation of the online discussion ACP Civil Society Forum Network, circumventing funding constraints while effectively facilitating South-South dialogue and the exchange of best practices.

Mr. King (Left, in caricature drawn by son Tariq) made significant contributions to the Barbados Association of Non Governmental Organizations (BANGO). His collaboration with the EU Delegation services and the Government of Barbados resulted in enhanced engagement with multilateral organisations as well as the establishment of Non-State Actor Panels to serve as platforms for consultation and policy dialogue both in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean States.

Mr. King (Left, in caricature drawn by son Tariq) made significant contributions to the Barbados Association of Non Governmental Organizations (BANGO). His collaboration with the EU Delegation services and the Government of Barbados resulted in enhanced engagement with multilateral organisations as well as the establishment of Non-State Actor Panels to serve as platforms for consultation and policy dialogue both in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean States.

Mr. Roosevelt O. King’s legacy as an influential ACP national, and a dedicated voice for the voiceless, will continue to serve as a beacon to guide the future path of the ACP Civil Society Forum, and its collaborations with the ACP Secretariat.

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