The leaders and representatives of 14 Pacific ACP states met in Apia, Samoa today to discuss concerns about significant delays in the programming of the EDF 11 Pacific Regional Indicative Programme (PRIP) and other partnerships related to the EU.
At a press conference after the meeting, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor expressed disappointment at the delay.
“We are disappointed because our countries have been insisting on the drawdown of these funds and the negotiations have been protracted,” she said.
“2015 they were talking about EDF 11 and to date this is 2017, it doesn’t look like we are going to get any resources until 2018 first quarter. So there will be gaps there.”
Chair of the Pacific ACP meeting and Samoa Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said the release of funds to fund the programme has not been satisfactory.
“As a result we urge the EU body not to make any more cuts in the allocation for our regional programme.”
“As you know with all the problems facing Europe there is pressure because of their own budgets and so we know where their proposition comes from in the area of reallocating the finances already approved for regional projects,” Tuilaepa said.
Leaders expressed concern that a Mid-Term Review has been initiated by the EU without any disbursements being made.
They have also requested the EU to speed up the commitment and finalization of the PRIP initiatives so that all programmes are underway by the first quarter of 2018.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa called on Pacific ACPS for their active discussions with the EU on future partnerships and voice the challenges in areas like climate change, renewable energy and sustainable development including the management and conservation of our ocean and its resources.
He added these discussions must ensure that the vision, objectives and priorities as articulated through the Framework of Pacific Regionalism, are fundamentally guides the EU’s relations with the Pacific region in the post-2020 era.
Photo caption: PIFS Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor (left) and Samoa Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi at a press conference after the Pacific ACP Leaders meeting