PRESS RELEASE: Forum Secretariat congratulates Pacific ACP countries and CROP Agencies for work under 10th EDF
Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Press Release, 10 May 2011: The Acting Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Feleti Teo has congratulated Pacific countries of the ACP grouping within the European Union and members of the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) agencies for their performance in committing funds under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). At the recent 9th Ministerial meeting of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) National and Regional Authorising Officers (NAOs/RAOs) held at the ACP Secretariat in Brussels, Belgium, the ACP-EU Partnership, and particularly its Development Finance Cooperation component with all the Authorising Officers of the European Development Fund (EDF) resources in the ACP countries and regions, was discussed. One of the issues that was discussed were the results of the Midterm Review (MTR) of the National Indicative Programmes (NIPs) under EDF 10 and its relation with the implementation of the EU Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Initiative, which was announced by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Durão Barroso, last year during the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly ('MDGs Summit'). The EU then announced it was ready to offer to the most committed and needy countries an MDG Initiative amounting to 1 billion Euros to make progress on those goals that are furthest from being achieved. This MDG Initiative has 2 components: One of 300 million Euros reserved for the “good” performing countries according to the outcomes of the 10th EDF Midterm Review (MTR) of the National Indicative Programmes (NIPs) and a second one of 700 million Euros open to all ACP countries. “It was wonderful to learn that after the Midterm review, nine of the 19 countries that qualified for the extra 300 million Euros are from the Pacific. They are the Cook Islands, Kiribati, RMI, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu. Pacific Smaller Island States performed well. Those countries can put top-up proposals together of up to 10 % of the value of their NIPs,” said Mr Teo, Forum Secretariat Acting Secretary General. “I wish to congratulate the governments’ of these countries for their efforts in committing more than 50% of their NIPs at the midterm of the EDF 10. Their efforts are being rewarded with the eligibility to benefit from the 300 million Euros reserved for the “good” performing countries as well as the 700 million Euros open to all ACP countries,” Mr Teo said. On a regional level the midterm review will take place this year and indications are that the commitment rates for some regions of the ACP are very low. Compared to the NIPs with an average commitment rate of 53 %; the Regional Indicative Programmes (RIPs) have performed badly with a commitment rate of only 16 %. But Mr Teo said: “The Pacific region has again performed well with a commitment rate at the moment of 57 %. This is due to the outstanding performances of the CROP agencies. There is chance that well performing regions could qualify for additional funding from the regional reserves. I congratulate the CROP agencies for their great work in implementing the Regional Indicative Programme up to now.” The EU informed the recent Brussels meeting that a proposal regarding the successor of the 10th EDF is expected to be made in June by EC Commissioner Piebalgs when he presents the EU's renewed Development Policy.