Suva, Fiji, 12 June 2015/ ACP: Major issues related to seas and oceans will be the subject of a keynote debate by the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) next week in Suva, Fiji, covering development-related dimensions of climate change, biodiversity, renewable energy, fisheries, maritime security, oil and seabed minerals.
The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA), which meets for its 29th session from 15 to 17 June, brings together lawmakers from across Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific as well as Members of the European Parliament to engage politically and take joint stances on a number of issues of common concern.
The event is scheduled to be opened formally by the Prime Minister of Fiji Rear Admiral (Rtd) Voreqe Bainimarama and the Speaker of the Fijian Parliament Hon. Jiko Luveni, along with JPA Co-Presidents Hon. Louis Michel for the European Parliament and Hon. Fitz A. Jackson (Jamaica) for the ACP. (Download full programme/ agenda)
It follows separate meetings of the ACP Assembly from 10-12 June, and meetings of the joint standing committees (on Political Affairs; Economic Development, Finance and Trade; and Social Affairs and the Environment) from 13-14 June.
Given the location of the session in the Pacific region, the keynote debate will focus on "Seas and Oceans", with the participation of the President of Kiribati H.E. Mr. Anote Tong amongst other high-level speakers. Rebuilding after Cyclone Pam, which devastated several Pacific countries in March this year, will also be one of two urgent topics on the agenda, in addition to discussions on the political situation in the Central African Republic.
“We will discuss issues that affect Small Island Developing States such as climate change, and the particular vulnerabilities that may not be faced by countries on the continents. There needs to be a recognition to the unique challenges SIDS face, which affect their long-term sustainable development,” said JPA Co-Chair Hon. Fitz Jackson.
Moreover, reports by the standing committees will be deliberated, leading to joint resolutions on the following issues: The financing of investment and trade, including infrastructure, in ACP countries by the EU blending mechanism; Cultural diversity and human rights in ACP and EU countries; and the Challenges and opportunities in education and vocational training in ACP countries.
There will also be two debates without resolutions – on natural resources, with the expected participation of the Minister for Planning of Papua New Guinea Hon. Charles Abel, and on improving internal revenue generation capabilities in ACP states.
Question time sittings are also scheduled with EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica on Monday 15 June, as well as the President-in-Office of the EU Council, Latvian Minister for Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkevics, and President-in-Office of the ACP Council, the Foreign Affairs Minister of Vanuatu Hon. Serge Vohor. Assembly members will also have discussions with the Fijian authorities, including Finance minister Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
The Joint Parliamentary Assembly is a democratic, parliamentary institution which aims to promote and defend democratic processes in the ACP-EU partnership framework through dialogue and consultation, and facilitate greater understanding between the peoples of the European Union and those of the ACP states.It meets for full plenary sessions twice a year, alternating between a European country or an ACP country as host.
The JPA plays a unique role of parliamentary scrutiny over the other institutions, holding formal debates with the European Commission and the ACP and EU Council Presidency every session. It holds important powers of scrutiny over the Country, Regional and Thematic Strategy Papers for the ACP regions and countries, ensuring there is proper parliamentary discussion and analysis of current and planned spending of the European Development Fund. As a consultative body, the JPA adopts resolutions and make recommendations to the ACP-EU Council of Ministers with a view to achieving the objectives of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement.
For more information, contact ACP Press Attache, Ms. Josephine Latu-Sanft at or +32 2 7430617. Local number in Fiji: +679 8308530