Thursday, 9 October 2008 12:31 PM

Fono Voices Disappointment in Intervention

The deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Fred Fono, voiced the country's disappointment over the EU's position on the EPA negotiation.

He told the 6th Summit of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Leaders in Accra, Ghana that he was not pleased with the way EC has used divisive tactics in the negotiations.

"I think we ought to continue to remain vigilant for these kinds of situations. Likewise, I think the role and participation of the ACP Secretariat must be strengthened to ensure ACP-wide areas of interest continue to be effectively addressed and pursued."

Fono said EC's persistent pressure for inclusion of binding commitments in the EPA on intellectual property rights; government procurement and other areas pose problems for ACP States who do not yet have the capacity to accept binding obligations in such areas at this time.

Hon. Fono, who attended the ACP meeting in Ghana said despite the Pacific leaders agreeing to maintain a unified stance, EU went on to negotiatiate with Fiji and PNG.

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