The Secretary-General of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, has urged the Pacific region to support the new agreement between the OACPS and the EU aimed at addressing climate change and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In a speech to a preparatory meeting in Honiara, Chikoti highlighted several significant projects undertaken by the OACPS and the European Union in the Solomon Islands and the wider Pacific region, including the Pacific Waste-to-Energy Solutions (PAWES) initiative and the programme to strengthen Research and Innovation Ecosystems to Address Climate Change in the Pacific (RERIPA).

He also stressed the importance of inclusive economic growth, private investment, cultural promotion, and value addition initiatives in achieving the SDGs.

Recognising the crucial role of Parliament in reinforcing the work of the OACPS, Secretary General Chikoti emphasised the need for enhanced dialogue and intra-OACPS cooperation to protect common interests on a global scale.

He commended OACPS members for their contributions to the negotiations of the new agreement and called on them to champion and advance the work of the OACPS during the ratification process to ensure timely implementation.

Secretary General Chikoti informed the meeting that the agreement will be signed in Samoa and provisionally applied on the 1st day of the second month following the signing. He expressed confidence that, by February 2025 when the Joint Parliamentary Assembly convenes, the rules of procedure will have been fully adopted, paving the way for the successful implementation of the agreement.

The meeting, which is happening at the end of the Cotonou Agreement and the beginning of the Samoa Agreement era, is a crucial step in advancing the work of the OACPS in the region.