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A-G, EU talk key issues

Vishaal Kumar
Saturday, November 04, 2017

THE European Union (EU) ambassador to Fiji, Julian Wilson, held a bilateral meeting with the Attorney-General and Acting Prime Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, earlier in the week to discuss key issues affecting Fiji.

On their agenda was the Conference of the Parties (COP23), the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the 2018 General Election and international co-operation and development between Fiji and the EU.

Mr Wilson said Fiji knew first-hand the effects of climate change and the EU looked forward to its leadership as presidency of COP23.

"At COP23, the international community will need to demonstrate its continued commitment to the Paris Agreement and make substantive progress on the implementation of the work program," he said.

The EU provided Fiji $F6.5 million to support preparations for COP23, which will be held in Bonn, Germany from November 6 to 17.

Mr Wilson said the EU saw Fiji also as an important trading partner in the region.

He also updated the acting prime minister on the EU's current development co-operation and upcoming support for Fiji.

"The EU funded program "Fiji Access to Justice" was launched by the Government of Fiji in August last year. The project, which is being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will enhance the justice system in Fiji and provide more access to justice for underprivileged and vulnerable groups," he said.

"For the future, the 11th European Development Fund foresees an envelope of $F45 million to support the agriculture sector and the sugar sub-sector reform in Fiji. The preparation of the latter program is continuing in close co-operation with the Government."

In total, the EU will provide more than $F90m in financial assistance to Fiji during 2014 to 2020. This is in addition to about $F110m worth of continuing EU-funded projects.

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