Forum Secretary General Henry Puna says the test of the ‘Samoa Agreement’ is in its implementation and flexibility to incorporate, adjust and realign to any future changes made by our 2050 Strategy Implementation Plan.

“We are at an important juncture of our relationships with the OACPS as the Members collectively execute the revised Georgetown Agreement that installs the ACP Group as an Organisation with new ambitions; and also, with the EU as we transit from the Cotonou Partnership Agreement to the new OACPS-EU Partnership Agreement, to be called the ‘Samoa Agreement’

“The ‘Samoa Agreement’ has at least a 20-year life span and will fall within our 2050 timeframe. It is therefore imperative that we work together to implement this agreement, and for the EU to engage with the Pacific region in genuine partnership to build sustainable finance and technical capacity for the region,” SG Puna said at the Pacific ACP Officials Meeting in Suva.

The new OACPS-EU Partnership Agreement now has the full EU membership approval, and all agreement partners will be meeting hopefully later this year or early next year in Apia, Samoa to complete the signing formalities and to celebrate the new agreement’s launching and recognition of this agreement as the “Samoa Agreement”, he said.

“The Pacific region will have access to significant voices to strategically influence the global agenda to serve our collective interests. We should therefore be exploring how best we capitalise on this opportunity. Our discussions today will refer to a number of technical engagements where we can work closely with the OACPS and the EU”.

SG Puna said the substantive papers for today’s meeting refer to the discussions we had to progress the mandates and decisions taken by the Pacific ACP Leaders at their meeting on July 2022 on the following key priority issues:

*the impacts of climate change on regional security and discuss strengthened Climate Action through Advocacy Strategies, Mitigation and Adaptation measures; and
*an update on the status of the OACPS-EU Partnership Agreement and it discusses the institutional arrangements required under the Pacific Regional Protocol. It also discusses the draft PACP Meeting Charter for Members’ future role and mandate of the PACP grouping, noting the required Institutional Arrangement for the ‘Samoa Agreement’, and other regional developments.

Today’s PACP Officials Meeting is expected to finalise the recommendations on important matters for the PACP Leaders’ consideration.

The agenda for this meeting is focused on aspects of Pacific engagement with the European Union (EU) and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), in anticipation of the operationalisation of the new OACPS-EU Partnership Agreement.

Today’s meeting is also an opportunity to consider an update on the implementation of 11th EDF Regional Indicative Programme for the Pacific (PRIP) and the Neighbourhood Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) update including the status of the Duly Mandate Regional Organisation and the EDF Regional Authorising Officer functions.