Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Hon William Haomae, addressed the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly at Prague, Czech Republic last week in his capacity as President-In-Office of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Council of Ministers.

In his statement he highlighted concerns on the Global Economic Crisis and Trade and the revision of the Cotonou Agreement.

In relation to Global Crisis and Trade, Mr Haomae reminded the Assembly of the development issues or needs of poorer nations and the importance of responding to these needs at international and regional consultations and discussions.

He cited liberalization of trade and financial markets as results of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) or Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) from the Brettonwoods institutions' policy advice.

He also registered the need to progress the Doha Rounds and Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) as mechanisms to enhance and promote trade in the regions.

On the revision of the Cotonou Agreement, he informed the Assembly of the status of the revision, particularly the details, modalities and the framework of the second revision of this Agreement.

Mr Haomae also met with Hon. Karel Schwarzenberg, the Foreign Affairs Minister of the Czech Republic during this brief visit.

Ambassador Joseph Ma'ahanua represented Solomon Islands in the ACP Parliamentary Meeting and the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Meeting as the National Parliament of Solomon Islands was in session at the same dates last week.