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PNG to be lead negotiator for the Pacific ACP States

The Pacific ACP (PACP) Leaders Summit in Apia, Samoa, agreed to nominate Papua New Guinea, as one of the two PACP lead regional negotiators in its current capacity as Chair of the ACP Summit, during the upcoming ACP-EU post Cotonou negotiations which starts in 2018.
The Summit also agreed to nominate Samoa to be the second lead negotiator in its capacity as the current PACP Chair. Their alternates are Fiji and Solomon Islands.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hon Rimbink Pato, who led the PNG Delegation on behalf of Prime Minister O’Neill, said the Minister for National Planning and Implementation and the National Authoring Officer for the EU National Indicative Programme (NIP), would represent Papua New Guinea as one of the lead negotiators.
The European Union is one of the major development partners in the region and is the second largest for Papua New Guinea, behind Australia.
The ACP Summit in Port Moresby in May 2016, agreed to task the ACP Ministers to set up a unified negotiation structure and to take charge of the preparatory work for post Cotonou negotiations, through the Committee of Ambassadors based in Brussels.
The Ministers subsequently approved the negotiation structure in December last year where the Central Negotiation Group (CNG) will be led by Ministers of the six ACP regions and the Technical Negotiation Team will be led by representatives of the Committee of Ambassadors based in Brussels, Belgium.
Minister Pato said, the PACP Leaders also resolved to reaffirm the region’s strong support and commitment for the ACP Group to negotiate a successor post 2020 Cotonou Agreement with the EU as a unified trans-regional entity and called on the EU to engage in the spirit of true partnership to agree on a legally binding treaty to the current ACP-EU partnership Agreement.
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