51st Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting
GEORGES REBELO PINTO CHIKOTI
Secretary General, the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS)
at the Pacific ACP Leaders Meeting
11 July 2022
I thank you for the invitation to be present (virtually), at the 51st Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in the beautiful island of Fiji. While I am sorry I cannot join you in person, I am grateful for the opportunity to convey this short message. I am also confident that the outcomes of the meeting will be substantive and far reaching.
The New OACPS-EU Partnership Agreement was initialed on 15 April 2021 by the Chief Negotiators. Since then, despite many informal exchanges and extensions of the provisions of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, we are still not able to sign the new Samoa Agreement.
We have agreed to extend the Cotonou provisions until the 30th of June 2023, and we can only hope that the EU-side will reach unanimity amongst the 27 Member States that would allow for the signing of the Agreement. In this regard, please be assured of my commitment to do whatever is possible to secure the signing.
As we enter the preparatory phase for the 10th Summit of OACPS Heads of State and Government, due to take place from 7-10 December in Luanda, Angola, I look forward to the support and participation of our Pacific Leaders.
The Summit, themed, ‘3 Continents, 3 Oceans, 1 Common Destiny: Building a resilient and sustainable OACPS’, will allow us to take stock of the implementation of the commitments made at previous Summits and plan, at the highest level, how best we can shape the future of the OACPS and the 1.2 billion people therein.
Your deliberations and the launch of the new 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, will no doubt contribute to the discussions at the Summit.
As you meet as a region over the next few days to “strengthen relationships and reset goals and priorities for regionalism and collective action as a Forum Family” I reiterate the commitment of the OACPS to work with and assist the Pacific Region to meet its aspirations and objectives.
I wish you well in your deliberations.
I thank you. –ENDS