Representatives of the 15 Pacific ACP countries, 3 French Pacific Overseas Countries and Territories, regional and international organisations, civil society organizations, European Union (EU) member states and Development Partners are meeting in Suva, Fiji to initiate the programming process of the 11th European Development Fund regional envelope for the Pacific region.
The 15 Pacific ACP countries include Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu
The two-day consultative meeting (11-12 October), jointly organised by the Regional Authorising Officer (RAO), who is the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat; and the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific is being held at the Forum Secretariat in Suva.
The European Development Fund (EDF) is the main instrument for delivering EU development cooperation funding under the Cotonou Partnership Agreement with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States. Each EDF is concluded for a five year multi-annual period. The 11th EDF will cover the period 2014-2020.
The 10th EDF Pacific Regional Indicative Programme (PRIP) covered the period 2008-2013, and, has a financial allocation of €114 million for 2 focal sectors and a non-focal sector: €59 million for Regional Economic Integration (REI), while the second focal sector of Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and the Environment (SMNRE) received €45 million. A non-focal sector was allocated €10 million to cover cross-sectoral support, including support to non-state actors.
The Secretary General of the Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade urged combined efforts of the participants to make the consultative meeting a successful starting point for flagging the priority action areas where resources need to be allocated.
“I note that we will have many priorities to take account of and the consolidation of the priorities to develop focal areas will be challenging. The clearer our proposals and recommendations are, the greater will be the chance for these proposals to be translated into a programme that will genuinely respond to the development needs of our region and our people,” Tuiloma Neroni Slade, told the delegates at the Meeting.
Alistair MacDonald, Acting Head of the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific said: “These initial consultations on the 11th EDF Pacific Regional Indicative Programme will be tremendously helpful in setting the scene for an effective EU-Pacific regional cooperation over the coming seven years. I am confident that the success of the 10th EDF regional programme, as confirmed by the 2011 mid-term review, will be replicated over the years ahead, for the benefit of the sustainable development of the countries and territories of the Pacific. During the consultation meeting in Suva, delegates will discuss issues including:
• Lessons learned from past and ongoing cooperation;
• The Pacific Plan as the basis for the definition of the 11th EDF regional indicative programme;
• Coherence with the EU development policy as proposed in the Agenda for Change and in the renewed EU-Pacific Development Partnership; and
• Regional cooperation in the Pacific and the role of regional and international organisations.
The meeting will also include group discussions reflecting the underlying philosophy of the meeting based around participatory approaches, engaging all key stakeholders in diagnosing the main challenges that the Pacific region is facing, and identifying potential development responses. These responses will then be considered for the Regional Indicative Programme for the allocation of the 11th EDF resources.
A second consultation is due to be held early 2013 on a date and venue still to be decided.
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