​PNG Nominated Lead Negotiator


Papua New Guinea has been nominated as one of the two Pacific ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) lead regional negotiators for the upcoming ACP-EU post-Cotonou negotiations.

The Leaders Summit in Apia, Samoa, 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 post-Cotonou negotiations start in 2018.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Rimbink Pato, who led the PNG delegation on behalf of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, said the Minister for National Planning and Implementation and the National Authoring Officer for the EU National Indicative Programme (NIP) would represent PNG 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 PNG, 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.

They 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.

The Cotonou Agreement, signed on 23rd June 2000, was the cornerstone of cooperation and dialogue between the European Union and its 28 Member States and 79 States.

Parties have launched discussions to identify the shape of future relations in a context in which requirements are mutual. Reduction of poverty, global warming and trade relations are just some of the issues.



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