Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Hon. Jeremiah Manele engaged in an Informal Breakfast meeting hosted by the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, in Apia, Samoa, on Wednesday 15 November 2023.
The meeting convened Pacific Heads of Delegations from the Organization of the Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific States (PACP) alongside Commissioner Urpilainen, with a focus on fostering collaboration and addressing key regional priorities that will fall under the new OACPS-EU Samoa Agreement.
During the breakfast meeting, discussions centered on significant developments, including the formal signing of the Samoa Agreement and the strategic priorities of the Pacific Regional Protocol.
Commissioner Urpilainen reaffirmed the European Union’s commitment to supporting the Pacific region through the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. Notably, the Commissioner also advocated for people-to-people connectivity, with a particular emphasis on the field of education.
In response, Foreign Minister Manele underscored the necessity for a credible roadmap to implement the Samoa Agreement effectively. He emphasized the critical role of national-level capacity building to enable the successful implementation of the Pacific Regional Protocol.
Minister Manele also raised the importance of ensuring predictability in financial resource allocation for the execution of outlined initiatives.
Addressing the topic on people-to-people connectivity, Foreign Minister Manele proposed that the European Union explore the possibility of establishing a temporary labour scheme to allow Pacific Islanders to work in EU member states.
Pacific Heads of Delegation reaffirmed their support to Commissioner Urpilainen, to foster cooperation on the various priorities highlighted through the Samoa Agreement and the Pacific Regional Protocol.