Caption:Signing of ACSE – EU-PIFS: Mr Dirk Meganck, European Commission’s Director for Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, Gulf and the Pacific (second from left) and Mr Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary-General of the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (first from right), signing the financial agreement for Adapting to Climate Change and Sustainable Energy (ACSE) programme. First from left, the Head of the European Union’s Delegation for the Pacific, Ambassador Andrew Jacobs. PHOTO: SUPPLIED.

Representatives of the 15 Pacific ACP countries, three French Pacific Overseas Countries and Territories, regional and international organisations, civil society organisations, European Union and development partners are meeting in Suva to continue the discussion on the programming of the 11th EDF regional envelope for the Pacific region for the period 2014-2020.

“The European Union has agreed to significantly increase the resources for our bilateral cooperation with the Pacific ACP countries, especially for the ones with the lowest income. This overall increase will be roughly 10%. An even bigger increase of our support for regional cooperation in the next seven years, by more than 30%, is evidence of European Union’s firm belief in “the value” as well as the “dynamic” nature of regional cooperation. Additionally, our ambition is also to achieve more by focusing on fewer, strategic priorities,” says Mr Dirk Meganck, European Commission’s Director for Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, Gulf and the Pacific.

“Our engagement in determining the regional development priorities to be funded by the European Union over the next seven years will move a critical step forward today as we collectively define our strategic priorities and the expected results, including the involvement of key stakeholders and the utilisation of leveraging mechanisms,” Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum and the Regional Authorising Officer said.

“On behalf of the Pacific region, I wish to extend our deepest appreciation to the European Union for their continued assistance in funding development projects in the Pacific islands. Many of these projects have assisted the region in reducing poverty, and respond to the challenges faced by the region in dealing with issues such as the impacts of climate change and renewable energy needs,” Mr Slade said.

“Earlier consultations on the regional priorities for the 11th EDF revealed that Sustainable Management of Natural Resources; Regional Economic Integration; and cross-cutting aspects such as Governance, Gender, support to Non-State Actors, Capacity-Building and Institutional Strengthening are areas of action that the region needs to focus on,” Mr Slade added.

“I would like to thank the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat for their important role and leadership in their capacity as the Duly Mandated Regional Organisation to facilitate the implementation of the European Development Fund regional projects in the Pacific. The Pacific region is performing very well in its engagement with the EDF projects and it is important that we strengthen this partnership for even better performance,” Mr Meganck stated.




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