ACP Leaders Joint Statement
Pacific ACP Leaders Meeting
5 August 2004
The 14 Pacific ACP Leaders met in Apia, Samoa on 5 August 2004 and considered the progress made on the Pacific Regional Indicative Programme (PRIP); the Outcomes of the Pacific ACP Trade Ministers Meeting of 4 July 2003 and the Region’s preparations for EPA Negotiations with the EU, which will be launched in Fiji on 10 September 2004. The Leaders also considered the nomination of a Pacific candidate for the position of Secretary General of the ACP Secretariat.
Leaders noted with appreciation the progress over the past 12 months in the implementation of the Pacific Regional Indicative Programme under the 9th EDF, which is currently 88% committed with full commitment anticipated later in 2004. Leaders also expressed their appreciation for the assistance provided by the European Union to the Pacific ACP states.
The Leaders endorsed the outcomes of the Pacific ACP Trade Ministers Meeting held on 7 April 2004 in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. In respect of the imminent Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations with the European Union, the Leaders noted that:
• The launch of Phase II of the EPA negotiations will be held in Fiji on 10 September 2004 preceded by TEAG meeting, media seminar, Regional Negotiating Team, Special Pacific ACP Trade Officials and Ministers Meetings;
• A special booklet entitled “The Pacific ACP-EU Partnership – The Way Forward” has been prepared which emphasizes the unique development challenges the Pacific ACP Region is facing, its aspirations for a partnership with the EU and suggestions on a positive way forward in the EPA negotiations; and
• An Informal Consultation between the Pacific ACP and the EU was held on 29 June 2004 in Geneva, Switzerland. The purpose of the Consultations was to engage in informal discussions on the forthcoming EPA negotiations between the Pacific ACP States and the EC, to begin in September and arrangements relating thereto.
Leaders further commended the establishment of the Forum Representative Office to the WTO in Geneva, which they mandated in 1999 to assist the Forum Island Countries WTO members and observers on WTO issues.
9.The Chair thanked the Leaders for their support and looked forward to their continued cooperation in enhancing and promoting the Pacific ACP Region’s special circumstances in their EPA negotiations with the EU.
Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Apia 5 August 2004