President Mugabe yesterday left the country to join other leaders attending the 7th Heads of State and Government Summit for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. Vice President Joice Mujuru is the Acting President.
The Summit which is being held under the theme: "The Future of the ACP Group in a Changing World: Challenges and Opportunities" is expected to strengthen South-South co-operation and to enhance ACP countries' role at international level.
ACP leaders would discuss the future of ACP-EU relations and opportunities for ACP partnerships with emerging economies.
Other discussions would focus on issues relating to peace, security, stability and good governance in ACP States and regions.
The ACP Heads of State and Government would also reflect on the status of the ACP Group towards 2015 and beyond.
The summit is also expected to cover the future of development finance (including the European Development Fund) and post-Busan partnerships, improved intra-ACP co-operation; and diversified partnerships with bodies such as the Brics countries.
A session on environment, climate change and food security and high level dialogue on energy and sustainable development are also on the agenda.
Preliminary ministerial meetings held from December 10-12 preceded the summit.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, European Union Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs and President of the African Union who is also the President of Benin Dr Yayi Boni would also attend the Summit.
The last ACP Summit was held in Accra, Ghana in 2008 where the impact of international financial challenges and soaring food prices were extensively discussed.
The ACP Group is an association of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries that was formed in 1975.
The entire group's member states, except Cuba, share a privileged relationship with the EU under the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement built on trade relations, development co-operation and political dialogue.
South Sudan would become the Group's 80th member at its upcoming accession to the Cotonou Agreement.
The objectives of the ACP group are to co-ordinate the activities of the ACP states, in the framework of the implementation of the Cotonou Agreement and to define common positions of member countries in relation to the EU Development Fund.