Samoa Prime Minister Chairs the 98th Session of ACP Council of Ministers
In his opening address to the ACP Council of Ministers meeting held on 10th December 2013, the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Samoa, Tuilaepa Fatialofa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi urged the European Union (EU) to work more closely with the ACP Group to identify “real needs and priorities”, while programming more than EUR 30 billion in aid for 2014-2020.
“The accumulated experience of the last half-century… makes it abundantly clear that ownership is a key ingredient of successful economic partnership for development,” he told officials from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific while chairing the 98th session of the ACP Council of Ministers in Brussels.
He also pushed for streamlining the project cycle of the multi-year aid package for ACP countries, known as the European Development Fund (EDF), to be “less cumbersome”.
While he expressed deep gratitude for the roughly EUR 31.5 billion committed by the EU under the 11th EDF cycle – despite drastic cuts in public finances – Prime Minister Tuilaepa also underlined the need to “shift focus of reflections and engagements away from primarily ‘money centred’ discussions.”
He opposed the “donor-recipient mentality”, stating instead that discussions should be more political, focusing on strategic global issues such as energy, climate change, democracy and the rule of law, good governance, investments, and the post-2015 development agenda, adding:
“It is vital that we work together with our European partners in identifying areas where there are major difficulties and suggest ways by which aid resources can more quickly and more effectively reach those sectors that need them the most.”
At the conclusion of the 98th Session, the ACP Council approved 11 decisions as well as resolutions and a declaration on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Samoa’s delegation also included Associate Minister Ifopo Matia Filisi and Aiono Mose Su’a, CEO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.