AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE of European Union (EU) to Solomon Islands His Excellency (H.E) Sujiro Seam has highlighted EU’s ambition to further consolidate its role as a strategic, political, development and economic partner for the Pacific.
Ambassador Seam stated this during the occasion to present his credentials to the Acting Governor General Mr Patteson Oti on Monday at the Government House.
A Government Communication Unit (GCU) quoted Ambassador Seam saying;
“Negotiations on the new partnership between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries beyond 2020 will take account of the full width and depth of these relations.
“Solomon Islands plays an important role in consolidating the alliance between the EU and the Pacific, particularly in the Melanesian space.”
He stressed that crucial area of this strategic cooperation is climate change.
“We are now working together towards a successful outcome at the on-going COP25 meeting in Chile and are looking forward to a fruitful COP26, scheduled to take place in Glasgow,” said Ambassador Seam.
The European Union Ambassador announces that EU stands ready to assist Solomon Islands to upgrade its capacity and competitiveness since we accede to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) – a welcoming news.
“The focus of the EU’s development cooperation with Solomon Islands is to create economic and livelihood opportunities for rural populations, by diversifying sustainable productive sectors and promoting institutional and infrastructure development, and good governance, by supporting efforts at the provincial level and with the civil society.”
“Solomon Islands benefits from the EU’s regional programme and cooperation extends to areas such as regional economic integration (trade / private sector development), sustainable management of natural resources (marine protection & waste), inclusive and accountable governance (public finance management / gender equality) and other regional investment initiatives,” Ambassador Seam remarked.
Acting Governor General Mr Patteson Oti in response highlighted EU’s substantive development assistance to Solomon Islands through its successive aid programmes under the European Development Fund (EDF).
“These funds have contributed tremendously to the economic, social, and cultural development of Solomon Islands.”
“For the recently launched and commissioned EU-GIZ pilot Solar Hybrid Project at Selwyn College is testament to the EU’s commitment to the fight against climate change,” Mr Oti remarked.
The Acting Governor General reiterates that in this regard the country fully recognize the significant role the EU has played in the development of our country and wish to convey continued support and cooperation on effective implementation of EU partnership programmes.
“Solomon Islands will continue to provide its support to the Post Cotonou Negotiations process and look forward to the conclusions of the negotiations, and the signing of the agreement in Samoa in 2020 as a member of European Union and African Caribbean Pacific (EU-ACP).
“We would also like to thank the EU and the ACP Group for allowing the Pacific Region to host this important event,” he said.
“We recognize and commend EU’s efforts to strengthen partnerships at both bilateral and multilateral level to address issues of common value and interests such as security, democracy, human rights and rule of law.”
“We also welcome the EU’s regional focus on highlighting the main issues and priorities of the Pacific region, and reaffirms Solomon Islands continued support and partnership in EU engagement in the Pacific,” Mr Oti who is also the National Speaker of Parliament said.
He assures the nations continuous support and look forward to work closely with Ambassador Seam as he begins his tenure in office.
The new Ambassador will visit frequently so to further improve the EU’s strategic and operational relations with this beautiful country.