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Thursday, 28 October 2010

Brussels based Pacific Ambassadors want EPA negotiations stepped-up

Pacific ACP Ambassadors in the European Union have underlined the need to speed-up the stalled Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations in the region and they want more engagement in the process. Pacific ACP Ambassadors in the European Union have underlined the need to speed-up the stalled Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations in the region and they want more engagement in the process. In their meeting last week in Brussels, the Pacific Ambassadors of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group, through their coordinator and the Ambassador of Vanuatu, H.E Mr. Roy Mickey Joy, urged the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat to accelerate the process. Mr Joy stressed that given the amount and the volume of resources provided by the European Union to the PIF Secretariat through the Regional Indicative Programme, to the negotiation process, it's astounding to know that close to three years little has been achieved. He said the Pacific Forum Secretariat, which was mandated to negotiate on-behalf of the region, may have other important commitments to pursue; however, the importance of the EPA negotiations remains a very important issue, considering the level of resources and the commitment that the EU gives to most of the Pacific states. Ambassador Joy also underscored the need for Pacific ACP Ambassadors in Brussels and London to be kept abreast with the developments in the EPA negotiations. He said given their proximity to the EU and the ACP Group, it is vital that they are informed of the status of play on the EPAs.

Source: Islands Business