The first enhanced political dialogue between Samoa and the European Union under Article 8 of the ACP-EU partnership (Cotonou) Agreement was held in Apia yesterday.
The discussions covered political and economic developments in Samoa and the European Union as well as key strategic topics of mutual interest for both sides.
The meeting was chaired on the Samoan side by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, and by Andrew Jacobs, Head of Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific.
Among the outcomes was an agreement by the parties to seek common lines to tackle key global challenges such as climate change and to strengthen their co-operation in regional and international matters of common concern.
Mr. Jacobs said the dialogue was fruitful.
“Today we had an excellent opportunity to take stock of our joint considerable achievements over the past years and to plan for even closer cooperation for the coming years,” he said.
“Building on the exceptional partnership between the European Union, Samoa and the rest of the Pacific in the fight against climate change, today we explored further areas where coordinated action could make an impact on a global stage.”
“I witnessed the remarkable progress that the Government of Samoa has made in the field of human rights and discussed remaining challenges.”
“I am confident that EU support to sectors such as water and sanitation, and support to the civil society, will be a major boost in addressing the remaining development challenges in Samoa.”
Prime Minister Tuilaepa acknowledged the assistance provided under the National Indicative program and hastens to add that like other Pacific ACP countries “we need to take ownership of and be constructively engaged in the Regional Indicative Program activities to ensure that such regional assistance support and complement priorities at country level.”
The Cotonou Agreement offers a framework for the European Union’s cooperation relations for the economic, social and cultural development of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP). Centred on the target of reducing, and in the longer-term, eradicating poverty, the cooperation must also contribute to the peace and security and the democratic and political stability of the ACP states.
The objective of the political dialogue is to exchange information, to foster mutual understanding and to facilitate the establishment of agreed priorities and shared agendas, in particular by recognising links in the various areas of cooperation between the Parties as laid down in the Cotonou Agreement.