On 22 November 2023, the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis joined an increasing number of Member States of the Organization of Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific States in signing the Samoa Agreement at the OACPS Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
The signing ceremony culminates what can be described as an extended and highly spirited negotiation process, which commenced in September 2018 in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. The lead negotiators initialed the Agreement in April 2021.
The official signing ceremony for the new OACPS-EU Partnership Agreement now referred to as the Samoa Agreement, was held during the 46th Session of the ACP-EU Joint Council of Ministers in Apia, Samoa on 15 November 2023. The Agreement was signed by the EU and its Member States alongside Members of the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States.
The Samoa Agreement sets the foundation for a new legal framework for relations between the European Union and 79 OACPS Member States comprising 47 African, 16 Caribbean, and 15 Pacific countries and the Republic of Maldives over the next 20 years.
The new Agreement prioritizes six areas namely democracy and human rights, sustainable economic growth and development, climate change, human and social development, peace and security, and migration and mobility.
The Samoa Agreement replaces the previous partnership framework, the Cotonou Agreement adopted in 2000 to replace the 1975 Lome Agreement. The Samoa Agreement covers approximately two billion people and is expected to build on the long-standing partnership between the European Union and Member States from the African, Caribbean, and Pacific regions.
The Agreement is underpinned by a common foundation that applies to all parties and three regional protocols focused on addressing the specificities of each region. It also signifies a binding commitment by both sides to address global challenges, promote economic growth, and foster sustainability.
The provisional application of the agreement will commence on 1 January 2024. The Agreement will enter into force upon consent by the European Parliament and the ratification by the EU Member States and at least two-thirds of the OACPS Membership.
The Samoa Agreement will ensure that all Parties to the Agreement are better positioned to address the emerging needs and global challenges, including climate change, ocean governance, migration, and peace and security through an estimated Euros 60. bn fund envelope distributed through the following geographical allocations. The Neighborhood Euros 19.323 bn, Sub-Saharan Africa Euros 29.181bn, Asia, Middle East and Pacific Euros 8.849 bn and the Americas and the Caribbean Euros 3.395 bn under the new development instrument called the Neighborhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument for 2021-2027. The Caribbean is expected to benefit from a Euros 800 mn allocation out of 3.395 bn allocated to the Americans and the Caribbean for 2021-2027.
Samoa Agreement Signing Ceremony OACPS Headquarters Photos – 22 November 2023