Officials meet to prepare for 48th Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting

A series of regional meetings are underway at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat as part of preparations for the 48th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting next month (September) in Apia, Samoa.

The Smaller Island States (SIS) Officials Meeting and the Pacific ACP Officials Meeting (PACPOM) began yesterday and the week will end with the Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting on Friday.

The two-day Forum Officials Committee meeting began today, to discuss proposed key priorities for Forum Leaders’ consideration and decision when they meet next month.

The SIS Officials Meeting will mark the first annual progress report on work that has commenced in the five priority areas identified by the SIS Regional Strategy 2016-2020; the Strategy was endorsed by SIS Leaders in Palau in 2016.

Discussions during the PACPOM will primarily be around preparations for a successor to the Cotonou Agreement.

The Cotonou Agreement was signed in 2000 between the ACP Group of States and the European Union ends in February 2020; negotiations for a successor arrangement should begin by August 2018.

The Forum Foreign Ministers meeting will discuss current geopolitical trends and what they mean for the Pacific region.

The meeting will also look at how Ministers could work together to advance the Forum’s foreign policy priorities, and to strengthen the voice of the Pacific in international affairs.

The meeting of Forum Foreign Ministers will be chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa, iame Naomi Mata’afa.