European Commission and Pacific Community seal pact for strengthened cooperation
The sustainable management of marine resources, mitigating climate change and integrating steps to address food security and non-communicable diseases are among the focus areas for strengthened cooperation between the European Commission and the Pacific Community.
A partnership agreement deepening the collaboration between the two international bodies was signed in Suva, Fiji, today by the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, and the Director-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Dr Colin Tukuitonga.
Speaking at the signature ceremony, European Union Commissioner for International Co-operation and Development Neven Mimica said: "This Partnership will further enhance collaboration on policy development and recommendations in the areas under SPC’s mandate.
“It will be instrumental to address challenges such as the sustainable management of natural resources, the roll out of sustainable energy, Climate Change Adaptation, and will contribute to social development, including on gender, youth and human rights. The Partnership is also intended to contribute to creating synergies between Pacific ACP states and the Pacific Overseas Countries and Territories associated to the European Union."
Acknowledging their rich history of collaboration, Dr Tukuitonga said the European Commission was SPC’s principal development partner and a vital partner for the Pacific Islands region.
“The European Commission and the Pacific Community continue to share fundamental values and goals to drive sustainable and inclusive economic growth and social progress,” Dr Tukuitonga said.
“Our partnership has produced tangible results for the benefit of Pacific governments and populations across diverse sectors, ranging from disaster risk reduction, fisheries and trade development, to sustainable energy, human rights and culture. We look forward to furthering our collaboration on development policy and programming based on increased efficiency, impact and sharing of best practice,” Dr Tukuitonga said.
Under the new arrangement, the European Commission has a standing invitation to participate in the Conference of the Pacific Community and other key SPC events. Dialogue on policy issues and ongoing cooperation will take place at an annual consultation between senior representatives of the Commission and SPC.
The signing coincided with the 29th session of the Africa Caribbean Pacific (ACP)-European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly which is bringing together lawmakers from across Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific as well as Members of the European Parliament.