Cotonou, 22 June 2017 – The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the APRM Secretariat, Professor Edward Maloka, paid a courtesy visit to the APRM Focal Point for Benin and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, His Excellency Aurelien Agbenonci, in Cotonou on 21 June 2017.
The Focal Point gave the CEO a warm welcome. In his introductory remarks, Professor Maloka said he was in Benin as a part of a series of visits to the APRM Member States, which he started after taking office as CEO of the APRM Secretariat in 2016.
Professor Maloka stressed further that his aim in Benin was not only to introduce himself and engage with the national authorities and the APRM structures on the review process in the country but also to discuss the programming of Benin’s National Programme of Action (NPOA) Implementation Progress Report for the next Forum of Heads of State and Government in January 2018.
H.E. Agbenonci acknowledged that since he took office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation he had not had enough time to familiarise himself with the local APRM, 2017 being considered by the President of the Republic of Benin as a transitional year.
However, he recalled that, in his previous functions in some African countries (Congo Brazzaville and Cameroon) where he served as UN Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, he had the opportunity to work on APRM-related issues.
The Focal Point for Benin highlighted the importance of APRM to the Republic of Benin and observed that, with the expiration of the mandate of the National Governing Council (NGC) of APRM-Benin since 2015 and the conclusion of the NPOA implementation phase, there is a need to assess its implementation and renew the NGC to put APRM-Benin on track and prepare the country for a second cycle review.
As regards Benin’s NPOA Implementation Progress Report programmed for tabling at the July 2017 Summit of Heads of State and Government participating in the APRM, the Focal Point for Benin proposed that the progress report be deferred.
Both parties agreed to discuss the status of the report in October and decide on its tabling before the Forum meeting in January 2018. The Focal Point concluded the meeting by assuring the APRM Secretariat CEO of the Benin Government’s unflinching political commitment to the APRM.
He stressed that Benin is poised for its second cycle review in 2018 and the country has resolved to pay up its contribution arrears (USD 860,000) shortly.
The mission was marked by two important outcomes:
• Benin’s decision to undertake its second cycle review in 2018; and
• Benin’s resolve to rapidly discharge its contribution arrears totalling USD 860,000.
Professor Edward Maloka was accompanied on the mission by Dr. Koffi Adorgloh, Coordinator of the Benin review process. The Continental APRM Delegation also held two productive meetings on 22 June 2017 with the NGC Bureau of APRM-Benin that was attended by a Representative of the Focal Point and subsequently by the NGC members.
H.E. Aurelien A. Agbenonci was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Benin on 6 April 2016. Prior to his current functions, he served as Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (DSRSG)/Humanitarian Coordinator (HC)/Resident Coordinator (RC)/UNDP Resident Representative (RR) at the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA) from 2014 to 2016.
As a long-time international civil servant of the United Nations, Mr. Agbenonci served in various capacities as Human Coordinator (HC)/Representative Coordinator (RC)/Resident Representative (RR) in Mali, Rwanda and Republic of Congo. He had also served as Deputy Resident Representative in Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Burundi, and as Programme Officer/Assistant Resident Representative in the Comoro Islands.