Timor-Leste participates in Pacific ACP Leaders Meeting

Thu. 09 of November of 2023, 10:23h
WhatsApp Image 2023-11-08 at 17.30.20

The Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Agio Pereira, took part in the meeting of the Pacific members of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), which took place on November 7th, 2023, on the sidelines of the 52nd Meeting of Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), in Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

The OACPS is a multilateral organisation comprising 79 countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific cooperating with the European Union (EU). The organisation was established in 1975 and aims to promote economic development, regional integration and political cooperation between its member states and the EU. The current framework agreement for this partnership, the Cotonou Agreement, is now about to transition into the Samoa Agreement, marking a new era of regional cooperation and shared aspirations. Timor-Leste joined the Cotonou Agreement in 2007.

The Samoa Agreement, to be signed on November 15th, aims to strengthen cooperation between the EU and OACPS member states, emphasising priorities such as human rights, democracy, peace, human development, sustainable growth, environmental sustainability, migration and mobility. The agreement consists of a common basis and three regional protocols designed to meet the specific needs of the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions.

Minister Agio Pereira, in his address to the meeting, reiterated Timor-Leste's commitment to the Pacific Islands Forum and urged the PIF leaders to reach a consensus to move forward quickly with the Pacific region's priorities.

The Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers emphasised Timor-Leste's commitment to strengthening relations with the EU and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States and highlighted the importance of this meeting as it preceded the signing of the Samoa Agreement and as a space to discuss the Pacific region's priorities and challenges in the run-up to the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28, which will take place in Dubai between November 30th and December 12th.

The Chair of the Pacific ACP Leaders' Meeting and Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Mark Brown, emphasised that “as we anticipate the signing of the Agreement next week, we do so with our collective ambition to drive forward our partnership agenda in a way that best aligns with our needs under the Strategy 2050 Implementation Plan”.

Mark Brown also stressed that “climate change remains the greatest threat to our security, and we must take every opportunity and every forum to discuss it”.

The Secretary General of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, argued that “OACPS-EU cooperation is set to become more political and aims to achieve greater ambitions at local, national, regional, continental and international levels”.

“Working together towards common goals while strengthening multilateralism is important because all OACPS members, small and large, together will have a stronger voice, influence and impact on the international stage,” stated the OACPS Secretary General.

This meeting of the Pacific members of OACPS is taking place on the sidelines of the 52nd Leaders' Meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum, with the participation of Minister Agio Pereira, representing the Prime Minister, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, on the theme of “Our Voices, Our Choices, Our Pacific Way: Promote, Partner, Prosper”.

The Pacific Islands Forum is a regional organisation that gathers political leaders from various Pacific island nations and territories intending to promote cooperation and dialogue between Pacific countries and territories on issues of common interest, including political, economic, social and environmental issues. Timor-Leste has observer status in the Pacific Islands Forum.