ACP is the acronym for Africa, Carabbean and Pacific, and is the name of the 71 countries that are signatories of the Lomé convention.
The first Lomé Convention was signed in Togo in 1975 and arose out of Europe's wish to guarantee itself regular supplies of raw materials, and to maintain its privileged position in its overseas markets. It also derived in part from a sense of responsibility arising out of its colonial past. The Lomé Convention is an ambitious cooperation programme between the fifteen countries of the European Union and 71 countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP). It is based mainly on a system of tariff preferences which give those countries access to the European market and special funds which maintain price stability in agricultural products and mining products.
The Lomé Agreement was succeeded by the Cotonou Agreement (signed in Benin in June 2000). One of the major differences with the Lomé convention is that the partnership is extended to new actors like civil society, private sector, trade unions, local authorities, etc. These will be involved in consultations and planning of national development strategies, provided with access to financial resources and involved in the implementation of programmes.
Many small island developing states are ACP States. The fourth Lomé Convention was revised in 1995 in Mauritius. The Lomé Convention gives special attention to island countries in this agreement: "For the landlocked and island ACP States, co-operation shall be aimed at devising and encouraging specific operations to deal with development problems caused by their geographical situations.