Thursday, 11 March 2010 11:10 AM

PM Hails Latest Trip as a Success

Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua has described his recent trip to Palau and Brussels as a success.

In Palau, Dr Sikua attended the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) where leaders agreed to join efforts to increase the economic value and to derive greater benefits from their common tuna resources.

Members to the PNA include leaders from Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

The 8 member PNA has been dubbed 'OPEC for tuna' because it aims to control access to tuna in its waters and so increase economic benefits for Pacific Islanders. PNA waters supply around 25 percent of the world's supply of tuna.

Dr Sikua said the purpose of the meeting is to exchange views on how to maximize benefits of our tuna resources and to set the political direction for the new PNA Secretariat based in Marshall Islands.

In Brussels, Dr Sikua led a high level delegation including the Minister of National Planning and Aid Coordination Steve Abana and Minister of Finance Snyder Rini for talks with leaders of the European Union.

Issues discussed during the two-party political dialogue includes EU's assistance to the upcoming elections, constitutional reform, regional security and stability, cooperation in trade and fisheries, the global financial crisis and climate change.

Of particularly significance is the discussion on the EU budgetary support for Solomon Islands of Euro15.2 million (SB$179 million) to help mitigate the effects of the global financial crisis and the dialogue on climate change

Formalities on the EU budgetary support are expected to be concluded in the middle of this year.

Dr Sikua used the Brussels dialogue to express the importance attached to Solomon Islands relations with the European Union.

The Prime Minister and his officials returned Monday this week.


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