Fiji signs historic Samoa Agreement

November 16, 2023 12:36 pm

[Source: Fiji Government/ Facebook]

Fiji has signed the historic Samoa Agreement, replacing the Cotonou Agreement, which has governed OACPS-EU relations since 2000.

The Agreement is a new framework of partnership between the European Union and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States that will guide them for the next 20 years.

The signing ceremony took place in Apia, Samoa where representatives of the OACPS and EU were present.

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The Agreement was signed by 44 members of the OACPS on one part and the EU and its 27 member states on the other.

[Source: Fiji Government/ Facebook]

Fiji’s envoy, Ambassador Luke Daunivalu, says this is a proud moment for the Blue Pacific Continent.

Daunivalu says the Samoa Agreement represents a paradigm shift, enabling Fiji and members of the OACPS to renew their cooperation with the EU as equal partners.

The Samoa Agreement has a foundational section and will be complemented by distinct regional protocols to be tailored for Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.

Each protocol has specific governance measures to oversee and direct relations with the EU and each region.

Daunivalu says the region is guided by the Blue Pacific’s vision to be a Zone of Peace, as declared by Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, and welcomed by the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders last week.

The Agreement provides for both financial and non-financial resources that will be channelled through the EU’s Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (“NDICI” – Global Europe).

[Source: Fiji Government/ Facebook]

It will prioritise resource allocation to countries most in need, such as fragile and vulnerable countries including the Small Island Developing States.

The parties to the Agreement will complete their domestic legal approval processes before depositing their instruments of ratification.

The Agreement will come into force once two-thirds of the OACPS member states and the EU have ratified it.

Until then, it will apply on a provisional basis from January 1st, to those countries that have signed it.

This will ensure uninterrupted engagement between the OACPS and the EU.

The Samoa Agreement is a significant milestone for Fiji as it will strengthen its ties with both the EU and the OACPS.

It will support Fiji’s priority developments in areas such as climate change adaptation and mitigation, sustainable development, maritime security, human rights, trade and investment, amongst others.