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Remarks by the Pacific Regional Authorising Officer Meg Taylor, DBE

Signature of the Financing Agreement For The Pacific – European Union Marine Programme

Special Pacific Event: A comprehensive approach to Ocean Governance

 

Thursday, 5 October 2017

·        His Excellency Tommy Remenegasau Junior, the President of Palau

·        The Honourable Henry Puna, the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands

·        The Honourable, Isabelle Lovin, the Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden

·        The Honourable Semi Koroilavesau, Minister of Fisheries and Forests of Fiji

·        The Honourable Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development

·        Esteemed representatives from the Pacific region and the European Union

·        Distinguished Colleagues from the European Commission

·        Guests, ladies and gentlemen

 

I am pleased to be here in Malta to participate in the Our Ocean Conference and in this special Pacific Event to officially launch the Pacific-European Marine Partnership Programme by signing the financing agreement, in my capacity as the Pacific-ACP Regional Authorising Officer. This event is a testament to the valuable and practical partnership between the European Union and Pacific Region.

As you are aware, the ocean and its resources are fundamental to and inter-twined in the lives of Pacific peoples. In recognizing the centrality of the Ocean to our lives, livelihoods and well-being, endorsed the Blue Pacific as the core driver of collective action for our region, inclusive of the partnerships that we will forge with our development partners going forward.

The Blue Pacific is all encompassing and encourages a collective identity in progressing our priorities. Of particular resonance with the Pacific – European Union Marine Programme, is the Leaders recognition of the opportunity of the Blue Pacific identity to reinforce the potential of our stewardship of the Pacific Ocean (and its resources), ensuring its integrity for now and future generations of Pacific people, and for the perpetuity and prosperity of our planet.

The Pacific – EU Marine Programme is demonstration of the EU’s recognition and support of the Pacific’s regional priorities identified by Forum Leaders, under the 2014 Framework for Pacific Regionalism and related regional ocean policy and sector specific instruments such as the 2010 Framework for a Pacific Oceanscape and subsequent Leaders ocean declarations, and the 2015 Regional Roadmap for Sustainable Pacific Fisheries. At this juncture, I also acknowledge the Government of Sweden for recognizing the value of the PEUMP programme by supplementing and strengthening its scope through its co-financing commitment.

The Pacific – EU Marine Programme could be viewed as the most important and, or the most critical of the regional programmes to be awarded under 11th cycle of the European Development Fund, for the Pacific; given that one of the key strengths of our region and opportunities for our region lie within our oceanic and coastal marine resources. Economically, fisheries is a significant contributor to economic growth providing for up to 40% of government revenues for a number of our Smaller Island States.

With the objective to improve the economic, social and environmental benefits for the Pacific arising from regional economic integration and the sustainable management of natural resources, the PEUMP programme will address 6 priority areas:

  • Oceanic fisheries management and development;
  • Effective systems to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing;
  • Strengthening oceanic fisheries science;
  • Coastal fisheries resources and livelihoods;
  • Eco-system based management and biodiversity conservation; and
  • Strengthening capacity at the national and community levels.

In the Pacific region, we have strong regional technical agencies the Pacific Community and the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency who will spearhead implementation of this programme for the Pacific region, our countries and communities. I acknowledge the presence of the Director General of the Forum Fisheries Agency, my colleague James Movick who is also with us today.

This Special Pacific Event provides the platform for more discussion on the strategic approach that we as a region take with regard to integrated and inclusive ocean management and I look forward to contributing more on this issue during the panel discussion.

With that in mind, I would like on behalf of the Pacific Region to reaffirm our appreciation to the European Union for this commitment to the Blue Pacific and as the Pacific-ACP Regional Authorising Officer - I look forward to a constructive working relationship between your Commission representatives in the Pacific and our regional agencies to make this commitment a reality for the region and its people.

 

Thank you.

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