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EU failure stops new climate agreement

There has been a failure to sign and agree to the Samoa Agreement, and as a result, the Cotonou Agreement which was signed in 2000 has been extended until June 30, 2023.

The Pacific leaders met with leaders from the Africa Caribbean Pacific (ACP) countries and much of it has to do with the Samoa Agreement.

This would replace the Cotonou Agreement which aimed at the reduction and eventual eradication of poverty while contributing to sustainable development, and to the gradual integration of ACP countries into the world economy.

The Samoa Agreement included climate action and resilience measures.

ACP Secretariat general secretary Georges Chikoti told the Pacific leaders that he was sorry that the Samoa Agreement had not been signed by the European Union which was a partner in the agreement.

Dignitaries arrive for the Pacific Islands Forum. Picture: Fijian Government.

He said the 27 nations that form the EU were yet to discuss the Samoa Agreement and while this was to eventuate, the agreement had not been signed by them as well.

The meeting is a feature of the Pacific Islands Leaders Forum where the leaders of the two regions meet and make decisions regarding bilateral development, trade, and sustainable growth targets.

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The meeting on Monday afternoon started with a prayer led by the Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare arrives in Fiji for the Pacific Islands Forum. Picture: Fijian Government

The chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama took the opportunity to point out that the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Continent is priority number one for this year’s meeting.

“We are also setting the course for the future of our Pacific regionalism through the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Continent,” Mr. Bainimarama said.

“The 2050 Strategy sets the vision and direction for our region and provides a framework for all our development partners including the EU to align their regional cooperation.

President of Palau Surangle Whipps Jr arriving in Fiji. Picture: Fijian Government

“As geopolitical and partner interest in the region grows, we must be steadfast in calling for regional development partnership, cooperation on our Pacific terms, and in support of our regional institutions.”

Pacific Islands Forum secretary general Henry Puna said this was an opportunity for the two regions to set their courses together.

He said this would allow them the chance to revise previous agreements and set the course towards formulating new ones.

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