Wednesday, 21 January 2009 11:45 PM

Pacific ACP Countries and Timor Leste Agree on 10th EDF Priorities

PRESS STATEMENT (02/09)21st January 2009 - Representatives of the Pacific ACP countries together with Timor Leste have agreed on a number of high priority areas to be developed into project proposals to be considered for funding under the 10th EDF Regional Indicative Programme of the European Commission.

This was agreed on during a meeting in Suva, Fiji on 19 January 2009.

In his opening remarks, the Regional Authorising Officer and Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade told the participants that under 10th EDF the European Union has allocated the Pacific region 95 million Euros for the period 2008 to 2013.

The funding will cover two focal areas: Regional Economic Integration (REI) is allocated 45 million Euros and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and the Environment (SMNRE) is allocated 40 million Euros. A non focal area was allocated 10 million Euros.

"This is the first time the Pacific ACP countries and Timor Leste have come together to assist the Regional Authorising Officer in the identification and selection process and to come up with a short list of high priority concept notes that could be developed as regional projects under the EDF two focal areas," said Mr Slade

"Representatives of the Pacific ACP were more than excited that for the first time they have been included in selecting those regional projects that can have direct impact on the lives of the people of this region."

The meeting was chaired by the Deputy National Authorising Officer from Fiji, Mrs Elina Volavola, who said: "We can feel real ownership of these regional projects and will no doubt motivate all of us to be involved in some way when it comes to implementation and monitoring at the national and country level."

In his remarks at the meeting, the Head of Delegation to the Pacific, Ambassador Wiepke van der Goot said he was pleased that the process has demonstrated very clearly the continuous working relationship between the Regional Authorising Officer and the European Commission in the Pacific.

At the closure of the meeting, members of the committee from the Pacific ACP states including Timor Leste in consultation with the Regional Authorising Officer and EC Delegation were able to come up with a short list of high priority concept notes that will be developed into full project proposals.

Given the time constraints to submit full project proposals to Brussels, the Regional Authorising Officer, Mr Slade said he was satisfied to submit at least four of these concept notes to form the Pacific Annual Action Programme for 2009.

Both the office of the Regional Authorising Officer and EC delegation in Suva will work very closely to developing these regional projects for the 10th EDF.

For more information, please contact Mr Teriba Tabe, the Technical Officer (EC) on phone 679 331 2600 or email: teribat@forumsec.org.fj