The partnership between the European Union (EU) and its 27 Member States, and the 79 Member States of the Organisation of African Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) was solidified with the signing of the Samoa Agreement in Apia, Samoa on 15 November.

The historic signing ceremony a first to be held in the Pacific, was attended by more than 250 delegates from across the four continents.

The EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific states represent over 1.5 billion people and more than half of the seats at the United Nations.

Samoa Prime Minister and foreign Affairs Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa, welcomed the significant event and recalled the plethora of challenges the world faces that require collective solutions.

“We are weathering unprecedented times that calls for unity, solidarity and the need for strengthened multilateralism” said Prime Minister Ma’taafa.

She added that the Samoa Agreement “aims for a collective and united approach to address some of these challenges we are facing, from climate change, ocean governance migration, health to peace and security.

The Samoa Agreement prioritises human rights, democracy and good governance including gender equality and the rule of law. Social development and sustainable economic growth are and continue to be priorities, thus making the effective implementation of the Samoa Agreement key to ongoing efforts in building resilient environment and economies.

Timor Leste Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister and interim Co-President of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers, Bendito Dos Santos Freitas emphasied the significance of the Samoa Agreement as a milestone in achieving cooperation, shared prosperity, and sustainable development.

He acknowledged the dedication of all parties involved and their commitment to strengthening partnerships and strategic alliances.

Secretary-General of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States(OACPS)Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, recalled that at the heart of the OACPS-EU partnership agreement, lies the strong view that true development progress for our members lies in our collaboration and collective efforts.

He stressed the role of the Samoa Agreement in reinvigorating the longstanding partnership between the OACPS and the EU, promoting sustainability and resilience.

Chikoti commended all parties involved in the negotiation process and expressed the commitment of the OACPS Secretariat to supporting its members in implementing the agreement.

The Samoa Agreement signifies the commitment of both the OACPS and the EU to addressing global challenges, promoting economic growth, and fostering sustainability. It underlines the importance of sustainable development and the responsible use and conservation of natural resources. With the implementation of the Samoa Agreement, the OACPS and the EU aim to create a future where positive change, progress, and prosperity are realiSed for all nations.

Professor Robert Dussey, OACPS Chief Negotiator and Togolese Ministers for Foreign Affairs welcomed the signing as a strong signal for the dedication to strengthening the OACPS-EU Cooperation.

He recalled the long process to the signing and stressed that resilience of both parties to defend this agreement, that its implementation will provide a mechanism to advance the ideals of shared development while working together to promote international peace and security amongst others.