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The Pacific ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) States and the European Union (EU) held their first formal negotiating session on the Pacific Regional Protocol as part of the Post-Cotonou negotiations in Brussels last week.
The Post Cotonou negotiations were launched in September 2018 between 79 ACP countries and 28 EU member states representing more than half of all UN member countries and home to over 1.5 billion people. The eventual agreement is scheduled to be signed in Samoa in 2020 and will include Regional Protocols specific to each region.
“The Pacific Regional Protocol will define the framework for engagement and cooperation between the Pacific ACP States and the EU for the next twenty years, to ensure outcomes that are supportive of the Sustainable Development Goals and responds to the specific needs of the Pacific region,” said Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum.
The negotiations are led by the Pacific ACP Ambassadors based in Brussels, with Papua New Guinea and Samoa as the lead negotiators for the region, as endorsed by the Leaders. The Forum Secretariat and relevant CROP agencies are providing necessary technical support for the region in these negotiations.
These talks build on the informal and technical meetings held between the parties earlier this year, including a major roundtable held with Pacific leaders in Apia in February where leaders articulated the priorities such as Ocean Governance through the Blue Pacific identity; Safeguarding the Region’s Resources and Security; Building on the economic potential and sustainability of the region’s fisheries resources; Realising Sustainable Development goals and aspirations; Strengthening Commitment to addressing climate change and disaster resilience ; and, Striving toward Quality Education and Universal Health.
The negotiations follow a two-day regional workshop held in Suva last month where senior officials from the Pacific discussed the shape, focus and contents of the Pacific Regional Protocol.
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