15 Aug 2017

Solomons call for Forum to step up for EU negotiations

11:07 am on 15 August 2017

The Solomon Islands government wants the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat to take a bigger role in preparing the Pacific for a new trade and aid agreement with the European Union.

The Cotonou Partnership Agreement, which is the basis of the EU's relationship with the ACP, (African, Caribbean and Pacific), group of nations, ends in 2020.

The Solomons Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Milner Tozaka said the Pacific Island states had received substantial development support through the Cotonou Agreement.

The Solomon Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Milner Tozaka signs a revised Joint Commitment for Development with his New Zealand counterpart, Murray McCully, in Wellington.

Minister Milner Tozaka wants the Forum to be more active in EU trade negotiations Photo: Solomon Islands government

Last week in Fiji, he stressed the importance of the process leading up to negotiations on a replacement deal, and the need for the Forum Secretariat to play an active role.

Mr Tozaka said the Pacific's negotiators need to be able to highlight the region's priorities on matters such as climate change.