Solomon Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Honourable Jeremiah Manele joined the 79 members of the Organization of the Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) in a momentous gathering for a special Council of Ministers meeting, as a lead up to the signing of the new OACPS-EU Samoa Agreement, in Apia, Samoa.
In his statement to the Council of Ministers Session, Foreign Minister Manele expressed Solomon Islands gratitude for the support and cooperation extended by OACPS members from Africa and the Caribbean, as well as the EU, in bringing the signing ceremony to the Blue Pacific Continent.
The Foreign Minister acknowledged that the new Samoa agreement is a reflection of the collective priorities and aspirations of the OACPS and the European Union (EU), aimed to strengthen their relations and cooperation for the next two decades.
He also commended the Government and people of Samoa for the exceptional arrangements and warm hospitality, making the meeting a resounding success.
The Foreign Minister further noted the signing of the the Samoa Agreement signals the beginning of a twenty-year journey, and called on OACPS members on the need to urgently develop a credible road map for the new Agreement’s implementation.
The Foreign Minister also conveyed Solomon Islands acknowledgement for the efforts and commitment of all parties involved during the negotiations of the Samoa Agreement, and in particular, the role of lead negotiators, ambassadors, and technical experts from both the EU and OACPS.
Foreign Minister Manele also reflected on the pressing challenges of climate change on Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) and called on leveraging the robust OACPS-EU partnership to advocate for outcomes in COP 28 that align with common priorities, stressing the need for tangible actions and commitments to address the existential threat posed by climate change.
The signing of the new OACPS-EU Samoa Agreement is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 15 November 2023.
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