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Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has welcomed the European Union’s continued engagement in the Pacific region following the Second Ministerial Meeting between the EU and Pacific Islands Forum in Auckland today.
The meeting was chaired by Mr McCully alongside Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna and Vanuatu Finance Minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil. The EU was represented by Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Christian Friis Bach and EU Commissioner for Development Mr Andris Piebalgs.
“As the current chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, New Zealand is committed to furthering cooperation between the forum and the wider international community,” Mr McCully says.
“The EU is spending $1.4 billion on development assistance to the Pacific over six years. Bringing together large donors like the EU and representatives from forum counties will greatly enhance assistance to the Pacific.”
Today’s meeting marked the launch of the Joint Pacific-EU Plan of Action on Climate change – a plan to build stronger dialogue between the EU and Pacific on climate change issues and increase international climate change support.
Mr McCully says the delegates discussed how to more effectively manage the Pacific’s tuna stocks and the recent developments in Fiji.
“The group called for an inclusive constitutional consultation process and free and fair elections in an environment where human rights and fundamental freedoms are fully respected.”