The Minsters of the 79 members of the ACP group meeting in Brussels earlier this year
Source: Press Secretary
APIA, SAMOA – FRIDAY 08 SEPTEMBER 2017: The Chairman of the Pacific component of the African, Caribbean and Pacific, (ACP) group of nations and Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi is stepping up for the Pacific ACP.
At the conclusion of PACP Leaders meeting Wednesday this week, Tuilaepa is calling on the European Union to relax its dogmatic process which has detained the Pacific ACP from tapping into $166 million euros in the European Development Fund.
“The EU should consider the consequences of the delay,” he said.
“The PACP understands their position all very well but the EU also must consider the plight of the Pacific ACP countries if funding is not released.
“We’re talking unemployment and benefits for many of the island nations,” added Tuilaepa.
“With all the problems facing Europe there is pressure on their own budgets so we know where their proposition comes from and the area of reallocating the finances already approved for our regional projects.”
In its resolution to the EU, the PACP leaders noted the “significant delays in the programming of the 11th Cycle of the European Development Fund.”
To that end, the leaders called on all stakeholders to ensure effective implementation of the regional initiatives, including the monitoring and evaluation of on-going EU-funded programmes in the region.
And the PACP reiterated their united request to the EU to speed up the commitment and finalization of the EDP Cycle 11 initiatives so that all programmes are underway by the first quarter of 2018.
On Wednesday the PACP nations and the EU met to discuss a replacement for the Cotonou Agreement – the document which governs their relationship, and which expires in 2020.
The agreement outlines the EU’s commitments in terms of aid, trade and development to countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
There are 15 Pacific members of the ACP group and the EU has already indicated it wants a more region specific approach meaning the EU wants to deal with regions other than the whole ACP group which has 79 member countries.
The EU’s Pacific Ambassador, Andrew Jacobs said that it had already been made clear that the Pacific wants a diversified approach that reflects the region’s challenges.
“We are going to have further discussions with the Pacific leaders on what they see as some of the priorities for the new agreement which we need to start negotiating and which will take the place of the Cotonou Agreement in 2020.”