Organisational Structure

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The PA has adopted a harvest approach to cooperation whereby initiatives are negotiated and implemented in a piecemeal manner. This allows the PA to be more pragmatic in reaching realistic milestones, rather than being caught up by more sweeping, and potentially politically sensitive, reforms.

The PA has a four-tier hierarchy, with the Presidents of the member countries representing the highest level in the Alliance and coming together on an ad hoc basis through presidential summits. Without a formal Secretariat, these summits are typically led by the Pro Tempore President of the Alliance, a position which rotates annually between the member countries, in alphabetical order.

The Council of Ministers is the next most senior level in the Alliance and is comprised of the Ministers of Foreign Trade and Foreign Affairs, who are chiefly responsible for developing the bloc’s objectives and strategies. Beneath the Council is the High Level Group (HLG), comprised of the Vice Ministers of Foreign Trade and Foreign Affairs. The HLG assists in the development of the PA’s agenda, and supervises its fourteen Technical Groups. These latter Groups consist mostly of civil servants and are divided into specific areas of focus, including intellectual property and public purchasing.

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