Forum Chair stands by outcomes of PACP Leaders’ special meeting

Rarotonga, Cook Islands – Cook Islands Prime Minister, and Chair of the Pacific ACP Group, Hon. Henry Puna stands by the recorded outcomes of the Special Meeting of Pacific ACP Leaders, held in Papua New Guinea on 21 November 2012.

Issuing a statement today reaffirming support of the Pacific ACP Leaders’ collective decisions in Port Moresby last month, Prime Minister Puna said the special meeting concluded with the agreement of all the Leaders present and the Communiqué accurately reflects the decisions reached.

These decisions include the Leaders’ full support for Fiji to be engaged in PACP meetings at all levels, and for an interim secretariat hosted and funded by the Government of Papua New Guinea to convene meetings of PACP Leaders.

The agreement for an interim secretariat provided Leaders with the mechanism to better engage the Fiji Leadership at a practical distance from the Pacific Islands Forum and its related meetings, from which Fiji remains suspended. The PNG-hosted interim secretariat also preserves a process for the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat to continue to assist the PACP Members to successfully conclude negations with the EU on an Economic Partnership Arrangement (EPA) and related matters.

Prime Minister Puna, as Chair of the Pacific ACP Group, reiterates that the best possible decision was reached in Port Moresby because it demonstrated collective support to embrace Fiji while sustaining full respect for the Forum’s position, and its processes.

The Special PACP Meeting recorded the wishes of the Leaders and those wishes were to uphold that collective spirit of cooperation in moving forward, the Prime Minister added.

ENDS.