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Pacific ACP leaders prompted to be active

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06th September, 2017 Samoa’s Prime Minister Hon Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has reminded Pacific leaders of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group, the importance of being active and participating in discussions that relates with the ACP Group and European Union (EU).

In his capacity as chairman of the Pacific ACP he told members that “substantial efforts remain and are needed on both fronts, from our regional organisations in ensuring that our efforts are prioritised and coordinated, and that the political will and solidarity of PACPS remains strong.”

He stated that the Second Forum of Foreign Ministers Meeting in Suva was an opportunity to discuss post-Cotonou arrangements and the approach the region would take in the ACP Group negotiating structure.

“The negotiations for a post-Cotonou arrangement will need to commence no later than August 2018. The broader political issues related to the Pacific region’s relation with the EU and the ACP Group needs our consideration.”

Hon Malielegaoi also called on members’ active participation on the discussions with the EU to ensure that they will be able to voice out priorities and challenges in areas such as climate change, renewable energy, sustainable development and management and conservation of ocean and its resources.

“PACP leaders must consider a proposed resolution that supports the process going forward – ensuring that our own visions, objectives and priorities as articulated through the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, fundamentally guides the European Union’s relations with the Pacific region in the post-2020 era.”

Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) Dame Meg Taylor reiterated the need to be proactive in ensuring the development support under this arrangement is channelled effectively to the region and aligns with regional priorities.

“The broader theme of the 48th Pacific Island Forum – The Blue Pacific focuses on strengthening our collective identity and indeed collective political action to advance our regional priorities.

“I would therefore encourage the Pacific ACP Leaders to capitalise on this renewed impetus and new narrative, in progressing the preparatory discussions on post-Cotonou.”

With regards to the European development assistance to the region, Taylor stated that it was disappointing the region has not been able to draw down on the regional envelope of EDF11 funds to address the agreed priority areas identified by the region.

The ACP Group consists of 79 member-states, where 15 member-countries are from the Pacific region.

ENDS

Issued by the: Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Energy, Climate Change & Communications.

 

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