Samoa, PNG get the nod to represent the Pacific in Post Cotonou negotiation
16 July, 2018, 6:00 pm
APIA, 16 JULY 2018 (SAMOA OBSERVER) – Samoa and Papua New Guinea will represent the Pacific at the Ministerial level central negotiating for the post-Cotonou agreement.
This is according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade CEO Peseta Noumea Simi. He said Samoa is in the technical negotiating team for pillar two on development cooperation.
“Samoa has also registered its interest to be the host of the signing of the post-Cotonou agreement,” Peseta told the Samoa Observer.
Peseta was part of the Pacific ACP delegations that attended a series of trade meetings in Apia last week.
“Samoa has used the opportunity (trade meeting) to update and share its experiences/information with Pacific neighbours on all trade agreements Samoa is party to as well as its membership in a number of trade organisations.
“It has also learnt from the challenges faced by other Pacific countries as well learn of means to address capacity constraints. A most valuable factor in Samoa’s case is its ability to engage in wide consultations on trade issues.”
The Cotonou agreement aims to reduce and eventually eradicate poverty and contribute to the gradual integration of the ACP countries into the world economy. It is based on three pillars: development cooperation, economic and trade cooperation and political dimension.
By February 2020, a new agreement is to be effective, and the discussions held in Apia were to basically discuss on one aspect of the negotiation – trade, which is one of the three pillars of the post-cotonou arrangement from the Pacific ACP countries.
“There is no firm decisions made at the moment, we are looking at all the options that is available for the Pacific region and of course we’ll be making an assessment in the near future on the Economic Partnership Agreement and the post-cotonou arrangements,” Pacific Islands Forum Director (Policy – Economic Governance) Shiu Raj said.
“These negotiations will be taking place in the ACP countries and in the EU. headquarters in Belgium and all those aspects of negotiations are going to be determined by the parties and of course the ACP group has already declared what their negotiating mandate is.
“We’re are waiting for the EU to provide the details of their negotiating mandate and we understand it will available soon and once we view the mandates and analyse them, then we would better determine the Pacific perspective.”
Peseta said Samoa like all other members of the Africa Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Group is preparing for the negotiations process with the European Union to be launched soon.
“One of the most important factors to note is maintaining the solidarity of the Group. A single agreement is intended and regional specificities will be defined under the technical working groups for each of the broadly defined pillars of political cooperation, development cooperation and economic and trade cooperation.
“The European Union is one of the key partners of the Pacific region – Pacific ACP countries and its regional organisations must ensure that they are in readiness for the post Cotonou arrangements,” she added.