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Pacific ACP leaders meet in Auckland

(Xinhua)

08:49, September 07, 2011

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Climate change, trade negotiations and development coordination were some of the key matters for deliberation by Pacific leaders from the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) who gathered Tuesday in New Zealand's largest city of Auckland.

The 9th meeting of the Pacific ACP Leaders marked one of the first in a series of meetings being held in advance of the 42nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in Auckland on Wednesday.

In his opening remarks to Pacific ACP Leaders, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, said considerable progress had been made across their broad regional agenda in 2011.

In particular, trade negotiations with the European Union had progressed considerably over 2011 and were entering their concluding phase. "At their meetings this year, Pacific ACP Trade Ministers directed their officials to take the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations with the European Union to their conclusion," said Slade.

During Tuesday's meeting, the Pacific ACP Leaders also considered issues relating to climate change, and received an update from Connie Hedegaard, Commissioner for Climate Action of the European Commission.

The Pacific ACP Leaders meeting was attended by heads of all Forum Island Countries.

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