Rarotonga, Cook Islands, 8 November 2023 — Under the auspices of the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting (PIFLM52), Pacific members from The Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) gathered to convene the Pacific ACP (PACP) Leaders Meeting and discuss the arrangements of the Samoa Agreement.
OACPS is a multilateral organisation in partnership with the European Union (EU) that seeks to improve the quality of life for the people of their seventy-nine member countries. Their mission revolves around promoting trade, fostering good governance, and advancing sustainable development. The current framework for this partnership, the Cotonou Agreement, is now poised to transition into the Samoa Agreement, heralding a new era of regional cooperation and shared aspirations.
The signing of the Samoa Agreement is scheduled to take place on the 15th of November 2023 in Apia, Samoa. This agreement represents the collective resolve of Pacific nations to address current challenges, strengthen the framework for sustainable development, and deepen regional cooperation.
The Honourable Mark Brown, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands and Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) stated, “A constantly evolving global order requires our PACP grouping to take a step back and consider a range of existing and emerging issues impacting the Blue Pacific. Climate change remains our single greatest security threat, and we should be using all opportunities and all fora to discuss the issue”.
With these foresighted remarks in mind, discussions redirected to the eight Pacific Political Climate Champions, who have taken the lead in vital areas of climate action. These champions, specialising in various aspects of climate action, include Tonga for Climate Finance, Tuvalu for Just Transition, Samoa for Mitigation, Marshall Islands for Adaptation, Vanuatu for Loss and Damage, Niue for Gender, Fiji for Oceans Nexus, and the Cook Islands for Global Stoke Take.
The Pacific Political Climate Champions initiative, endorsed by PIFLM Leaders in 2021, represents a potent force for advancing regional priorities through political advocacy. These champions are set to play a prominent role at the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) as they elevate Pacific priorities and amplify the lived realities of their communities on the global stage.