29 Aug 2012

Forum head calls on ACP group to conclude negotiations with EU

10:27 am on 29 August 2012

Leaders of the Pacific countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group are being urged to work to conclude negotiations with the European Union on a trade agreement.

The Pacific ACP leaders are meeting in the Cook Islands this morning, ahead of the official opening of the Pacific Islands Forum Summit leaders meeting this afternoon.

The economic partnership agreement for the Pacific is already overdue, and there has been no negotiation since 2009.

The Forum Secretary General, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, told leaders that Pacific engagement with the EU over the EPA must be concluded this year.

"It is already a long standing series of negotiations, noting the time taken since negotiations first commenced in 2004 as well as the significant regional efforts and demands on regional resources, it is important that honourable leaders now at the this meeting deliberate on end game scenarios for the EPA negotiations."

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Tuiloma Neroni Slade.