14 Jun 2012

ACP ministers to meet with EU counterparts in Vanuatu today

4:31 am on 14 June 2012

African, Caribbean and Pacific ministers will today begin meeting with their European counterparts in Vanuatu.

The ACP council of ministers has been meeting this week, and will today begin meetings, raising issues including sugar, kava, and economic partnership agreements.

Megan Whelan is in Port Vila.

"Pacific ministers have been critical of the EU's slow progress on furthering talks on the proposed Economic Partnership agreements. They say most of the necessary work has been done, and the EU clearly does not want to come to the negotiating table. A resolution will be put forth to the joint council of ministers to have the ban on kava exports to Europe overturned, releasing a key commodity for Vanuatu, as well as Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Samoa. Fiji is also hoping for support for its call to have the sanctions on its sugar industry, in place since 2007, lifted, though the ACP secretariat says that may have to wait until it returns to constitutional rule."