Tuvalu and the EU

EU and Tuvalu further strengthen bilateral relations

29/04/2019 - 02:26
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29 April, 2019- Funafuti, Tuvalu - The second enhanced High Level Political Dialogue between Tuvalu and the European Union allowed both partners to further strengthen bilateral relations and to agree on common objectives.

The Political Dialogue was an opportunity to discuss the main areas of mutual interest, from key political developments in Tuvalu and the EU, to human rights, gender equality, sustainable and inclusive development of Tuvalu, trade, fisheries and people-to-people contacts (visa waiver). 

The EU and Tuvalu also discussed the future perspectives for EU-ACP Partnership after 2020. Negotiations are ongoing to replace the current Cotonou Agreement, with an ambitious agreement to guide relations between the EU and the Pacific over the coming decades. Both parties agreed that the new agreement should reflect regional and global priorities of interest to Tuvalu, the EU and the Pacific region. The discussions focussed on common priorities, including climate change, disaster risk reduction, maritime security, sustainable management of global public goods, fisheries and oceans management, public and private investment for job creation, inclusive and secure societies, and improved financial governance. The EU and Tuvalu addressed as well opportunities offered by the Economic Partnership Agreement to Tuvalu.        

The High Level Political Dialogue in the framework of Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement was chaired for Tuvalu by the Right Honourable Prime Minister Enele Sosene Sopoaga and for the EU by the Acting Head of EU Delegation for the Pacific, Mr. Corrado Pampaloni.

Following the political dialogue, Mr. Pampaloni said:  ''The EU has a long standing relation and friendship with Tuvalu and its people, based on a legacy of common values and, cooperation. Today we held discussions on all aspects of our relations. The EU and Tuvalu are strong allies in the fight against climate change and we will continue working together on climate action, and we will enhance cooperation within multilateral fora, as well as on a range of other issues such as human rights and gender issues, fisheries, regional cooperation and development.  We took stock of achievements in Tuvalu's reform process, for example in its fisheries policy and, reviewed our bilateral cooperation in waste management",

Mr Pampaloni took the opportunity to congratulate Prime Minister Sopoaga on Tuvalu hosting and chairing the 50th Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting in August and said that the EU looks forward to attending this major regional summit.

After the meeting, the Prime Minister Honourable Enele Sosene Sopoaga said: "The Government of Tuvalu and its people are grateful to the continuous development cooperation support from the EU in achieving Tuvalu’s development aspirations as articulated in the Te Kakeega III. The High Level Dialogue signifies the importance of close diplomatic relations between Tuvalu and EU which is based on the values of respect, trust and genuine partnerships.  The Right Hon Prime Minister emphasised that addressing the impacts of Climate Change remains the top priority for Tuvalu.  This is a survival and existential issue for Tuvalu which is threatening the livelihoods of people of Tuvalu; especially those of women and children, hence Tuvalu is very appreciative to the EU for the commitment and support to the implementation of the Paris Agreement.  The Pacific Island Leaders Forum Meeting in Tuvalu will focus mainly on addressing Climate Change issue linking it to securing our future in the Pacific.  On other key issues, Tuvalu is very committed to the implementation of the Human Rights Conventions, especially on maintaining gender equality, the rights of people with disabilities and respecting the rule of law. Building the capacities of Tuvaluans is key to achieving the development of Tuvalu which requires assistance from the EU. Right Hon Prime Minister commended the EU for its close collaborations in the negotiations of the Post Cotonou Agreement and looking forward for the successful conclusion of this important Agreement”.

Following the meeting, Mr Pampaloni and Right Honourable Prime Minister Enele Sosene Sopoaga commissioned a biogas facility. The facility, which has been built through the EU - funded 'Adaption to Climate Change and Sustainable Energy' (ASCE) project, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), will support the Government of Tuvalu's effort in adapting to climate change and reducing its dependency on fossil fuel.

The next Political Dialogue will be held in Brussels, Kingdom of Belgium, in 2021.

Background

The Cotonou Agreement offers a framework for the European Union’s cooperation relations for the economic, social and cultural development of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP). Centred on the target of reducing, and in the longer-term, eradicating poverty, the cooperation must also contribute to peace and security and the democratic and political stability of the ACP states. The current ACP-EU Partnership Agreement (CPA) was signed on 23 June 2000 for a twenty-year period and will expire in February 2020. The expiry of the Partnership Agreement, covering 100 countries with a total of some 1.5 billion people, is the opportunity to rejuvenate the EU's relationship with its ACP partners, taking into account the current global context.

The objective of the Political Dialogue is to exchange information, to foster mutual understanding and to facilitate the establishment of agreed priorities and shared agendas, in particular by recognising links in the various areas of cooperation between the Parties as laid down in the Cotonou Agreement.

Contact:  Mr. KASIM Mohammed Nazeem, Press Officer Tel: +679 3313633-110

Email: Mohammed-Nazeem.KASIM@eeas.europa.eu

Silafaga Lalua Tauetia, Media Advisor

Office of the Prime Minister, Government of Tuvalu

Phone: +68820815; Extension #: 3011

Mobile: +6887004553

Email: slalua@gov.tv; silafong@hotmail.com

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