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Pacific ACP Leaders Meeting Summary of Decisions


PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM SECRETARIAT


PACIFIC ACP LEADERS MEETING

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
25 October 2005

SUMMARY OF DECISIONS

Pacific ACP Leaders from Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Niue, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu met at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Port Moresby, on 25 October 2005. Palau and Tonga were represented by their Vice President and Minister for Foreign Affairs, respectively. Timor Leste was represented by its Senior Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. Hon. Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, the Rt Hon Grand Chief, Sir Michael Somare, chaired the Meeting.

Pacific ACP Leaders considered the progress made on the implementation of the Pacific Regional Indicative Programme (PRIP), the Outcomes of the Pacific ACP Trade Ministers Meeting of 26 May 2005, the regions’ progress toward negotiating an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) and, the progress of the Small Economies Work Programme under the Doha Development Agenda.

In his remarks as the outgoing Chair of the Pacific ACP Leaders, Hon. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa thanked the Members for their support during his term as Chair of the Pacific ACP Group. This had brought about good progress in both Development Cooperation and Trade Negotiation with our European partners. The Hon. Malielegoaoi noted that the Regional Indicative Programme had performed comparatively well to other ACP regions. He expected that this good performance would be rewarded with an increased allocation from the EU.

The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea thanked Members for nominating him to be the new Chair of the Pacific ACP Group. He highlighted the need for solidarity within the region as it continues to negotiate an EPA with the EU.

EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENT FUND (EDF)/PACIFIC REGIONAL INDICATIVE PROGRAMME (PRIP)

Leaders noted with appreciation the progress over the past 12 months in the implementation of the PRIP under the 9th EDF, which is currently 100% committed. They expressed the wish to improve early approval and disbursement of funds under the EDF. Leaders also expressed their appreciation for the assistance provided by the European Union to the Pacific ACP States through various other financial instruments.

PACIFIC ACP TRADE MINISTERS MEETING

Leaders endorsed the Outcomes of the Pacific ACP Trade Ministers Meeting held on 26th May 2005 in Nadi. With respect to the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations, the Leaders discussed progress made over the last year noting that Ministerial level negotiations were planned for the first half of 2006. Leaders noted the progress on the Small Economies Work Programme under the Doha Development Agenda and called for the support of Forum Dialogue partners at the 6th WTO Ministerial Meeting in Hong Kong, for SEWP proposals under the Doha Development Agenda. Leaders agreed to seek the support of Australia and New Zealand for the Small Economies proposals, including on fisheries subsidies.

STATEMENTS

ACP Secretary General

The ACP Secretary General, Sir John Kaputin was invited to make a statement and he expressed appreciation at the invitation and at the unanimous support from the PACP region that enabled him to accede to the post of ACP Secretary General. He outlined the opportunities challenges faced by the ACP countries and the efforts made by the ACP Secretariat to assist in addressing them. He urged the PACP states to continue to maintain unity with the other ACP regions particularly given the challenging times ahead with respect to the EPA process and the European Development Fund. A copy of the statement will be attached to the Summary Records of the meeting.

EU Representative

Mr. Anders Henriksson Director for the Horn of Africa, East and Southern Africa, Indian Ocean and the Pacific, Development Directorate-General, European Commission, was invited to address the PACP Leaders. In recognition of the good performance and based on the needs of the PACP region, and following the completion of the Mid-Term Review, the EC has approved an additional Euro 10 million for the P ACP Regional Indicative Program. The EC will also be proposing a new policy strategy for the Pacific region that will seek greater coherence in its assistance and commitment to the region. Views were also shared in support of the Pacific Plan and the EPA process. The PACP leaders expressed the region’s appreciation for the additional assistance announced for the region and for the new policy initiatives proposed by the EC and looked forward to discussing these initiatives further with the EC before coming to an agreement. A copy of the statement will be attached to the Summary Records of the meeting.

OTHER MATTERS

Leaders noted the intention of Tokelau to apply for membership to the ACP Group and agreed to discuss the matter during the Forum Leaders Retreat.

The Chair thanked the Leaders for their support and looked forward to their continued cooperation in enhancing and promoting the unity of the Pacific ACP Region as it strove to conclude an acceptable EPA with the EU.
Port Moresby, 25 October 2005

ENDS

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