Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
ACP Sugar Ministerial Group urge EU and the EC to release funds earmarked for Fiji under the Accompanying Measures Support Programme
As is customary, the ACP sugar ministers met in Port Vila on Sunday 10th June in advance of the ACP & ACP-EU Council meetings scheduled to start on 11 June. Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, participated in the meeting on behalf of the Prime Minister and Minister for Sugar.
Minister Kubuabola thanked the ACP Sugar Ministerial Committee for the support given to Fiji by way of statements and declaration made at the Mozambique Conference urging the EU and the EC to ensure that the funds earmarked for Fiji are immediately released to assist the affected farmers, and the sugar industry as a whole, in the adjustment and adaptation process. He noted that whilst some of the funds earmarked for 2010 had been made available for alternative livelihood and poverty alleviation programmes, it had not been channelled to the sugar industry where the funds were most needed.
Minister Kubuabola outlined the importance of the sugar sector to the Fijian economy, both in terms of economic benefits and provider of employment for a significant part of the population. It was therefore crucial that Fiji’s entitlement of funding under the second Multi-annual Indicative Programme for 2011-2013 are channelled to the sugar industry, as initially intended. The Ministerial Committee decided to write to the European Commission to submit Fiji’s case, as well as some other former ACP sugar protocol countries, which were experiencing major challenges with funding under the support programme.
Minister Kubuabola expressed Fiji’s appreciation to the European Commission and the ACP Secretariat for the assistance provided to Fiji under the ACP sugar research and innovation programme which, inter alia, looks into producing high biomass cane varieties which are resistant to drought, diseases and grows well on poor soil.
The 95th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers will be officially opened on Monday 11th June.
Port VilaVanuatu11 June 2012
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji