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United Kingdom

  General Information

Capital: London
Population: 65 million (2016)
Language: English
Post-Forum Dialogue membership established: 1989
Additional Forum Dialogue Mechanisms: None
Political system: Constitutional Monarchy
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II
Head of Government: Prime Minister David Cameron
Diplomatic missions in the Pacific: 5 (Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands). Diplomatic relations with all PIF Members.
Significant multilateral relationships: Member of ADB, Commonwealth, EU, G20, GCF Board, IMF, SPREP, WB, WTO, Council of Europe, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.


Trade in the region

Due to existing preferential trading arrangements with the EU, sugar exports from Pacific countries enter the UK duty free, (e.g. 94% of Fiji’s sugar exports). Processed fish products from Least Developed Countries also enter duty free (e.g. 61% of Solomon Islands total processed fishery products enter the UK market). PNG currently enters the UK market under the ambit of the interim Economic Partnership Agreement and 95% of its exports to the UK comprise processed fisheries products.

United Nations

The UK is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. It is a member of the UN Human Rights Council (2015-16).

Development cooperation

British ODA to the region is primarily through multilateral channels.

The United Kingdom has increased bilateral ODA to the Pacific, committing UDS 8.7million in 2013 and USD 12.2 million in 2014. The UK contributes €4.45 billion or 14.68% of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) to the region. The UK contributed €3.99 billion to EDF10 (14.82% of the total fund).

During 2009-2013, the UK spent £60 million in the Pacific region on climate related activity, primarily through the Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.

The UK has pledged £720 million to the Green Climate Fund which has funding earmarked particularly for the Pacific

The UK provided humanitarian assistance to the region in 2014-15:

  • £300k to support response efforts to major flooding in Solomon Islands (2014)
  • In March 2015, post-Cyclone Pam, the UK made £2m available to Vanuatu through UN and international aid agencies.

Common areas of strategic interest

Human rights and climate change constitute the two main platforms for mutual interest between the UK and the Pacific Islands Forum.

The implications of Brexit on the UK’s contributions to EDF for the Pacific are yet to be determined.

 


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