SAMOA ASSUMES LEADERSHIP OF THE PACIFIC PRESIDENCY OF THE ORGANISATION OF AFRICAN, CARIBBEAN AND PACIFIC STATES: 1 FEBRUARY TO 31 JULY 2021.
Samoa takes over the Presidency of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, on behalf of the Pacific ACP countries, for a period of six months from 1 February to 31 July 2021. The Honourable Prime Minister of Samoa, H.E. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, will preside over meetings of the Organisation’s Council of Ministers as well as at meetings of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers. As President, Tuilaepa may be called upon to address and decide on any unforeseen issues that may arise during his tenure, on behalf of the OACPS Council of Ministers.
The Samoa Ambassador to the European Union, H.E. Fatumanava III Dr Pa’olelei Luteru, will chair meetings of the Bureau as well as the OACPS Committee of Ambassadors. In addition, he will also co-chair meetings of the ACP-EU Committee of Ambassadors.
During Samoa’s tenure the main focus will be directed towards the following issues:
- OACPS-EU relations. The transition from the EDF to the Neighborhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), including the unpacking and dissemination of relevant rules and regulations governing the implementation of the new Agreement; gaining a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the joint regional institutions and their relationship to the joint institutions at the OACPS-EU level; and the dissemination of information regarding the eligibility criteria for the use of Investment Facility reflows for the period 2021-27;
- Pathway to Recovery – A Reset. The focus will be primarily on a collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in particular the acquisition and delivery of vaccines to OACP states. This could entail consideration and agreement on strategies to be employed in getting “vaccines to arms” once delivery is made. Economic consideration involving the private sector, trade, investment, and tourism as well as fast-tracking funds and resources for the implementation of the new Agreement will be a top priority;
- Climate change. The immediate focus will be on COP26 in terms of preparations including working closely with the EU with a view to a joint statement that reflects the aspirations and commitments agreed to under the new Agreement including securing more ambitious targets in global gas emissions. The health of oceans and seas will receive special attention in light of the upcoming Ocean Conference scheduled for 2022;
- Global alliances and multilateralism is the fourth priority area for attention and will be guided by the provisions of the new OACPS-EU Agreement; and
- Restructuring of the OACPS Secretariat and the various organs of the Organisation responsible to the Committee of Ambassadors.
The signing ceremony for the new Agreement is expected to take place during the second half of 2021 in Apia, Samoa.