PNG, Samoa to be region’s voice at ACP-EU talks

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THE Pacific faction of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (PACP) Leaders’ Summit in Apia, Samoa, agreed to nominate PNG as one of the two PACP lead regional negotiators in its current capacity as chair of the ACP Summit during the upcoming ACP-European Union post-Cotonou negotiations, which start next year.
The summit also agreed to nominate Samoa to be the second lead negotiator in its capacity as the  PACP chair.
Their alternates are Fiji and the Solomon Islands.
Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Rimbink Pato said the National Planning and Implementation Minister Richard Maru and the national authoring officer for the EU national indicative programme (NIP) would represent PNG.
The EU is one of the major development partners in the region and is the second largest for PNG, behind Australia.
The ACP Summit in Port Moresby in May 2016 agreed to task ACP ministers to set up a unified negotiation structure in preparation for post-Cotonou negotiations through the committee of ambassadors based in Brussels.
The ministers subsequently approved the negotiation structure in December last year.
The Cotonou Agreement, which expires in February 2020, governs EU development, economic, trade and political relations with ACP members.
It is a partnership which aims to reduce poverty and contribute to the integration of ACP countries into the world economy.

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