Second France-Oceania Summit (June 26, 2006)

The second France-Oceania Summit, which was presided over by the French President, was held in Paris on 26 June 2006, on the occasion of the inauguration of the Musée du Quai Branly. It introduced a new dynamic to the relations between France and the Pacific region. It also made it possible to reinforce the now active integration of the French communities of the Pacific into their region, as well as France’s contribution to the cooperation set up by the European Union for the Pacific region, manifest in the framework of the future tenth EDF or in the framework of the Economic Partnership Agreements, which are currently being negotiated.

The second France-Oceania Summit was based on three themes, which correspond to the priorities of the Pacific region and the main cooperation lines defined by the Pacific Plan adopted by the heads of state and government of the 16 states of the Pacific Islands Forum during the summit in Port Moresby (October 2005):

The political stability of the region, which faces recurrent challenges related to the fragility of the island states and potential foreign threats (international terrorism, major crime, trafficking), the positive effects of the dialogue conducted within the Pacific Islands Forum should be noted, in particular with regard to the action of RAMSI in the Solomon Islands. This session was introduced by Sir Michael Somare, current Chairman of the Forum and Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.

The economic stability of the region, which wasbe analyzed in particular in light of the “Pacific Plan”, adopted during the Summit in Port Moresby, with a clear emphasis on sustainable development. The European Union, currently involved in putting together the tenth EDF, to which France will be one of the top two contributors, and the negotiations of the Economic Partnership Agreements, is now a key player in the region. Mr. Louis Michel, Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, will introduce this session.

Environmental stability, which Mr. Remengesau, President of the Republic of Palau, introduced; this is a key challenge facing Oceania. The Pacific Plan also tackles this issue, in line with the most recent French initiatives, with potential collaborations with Australian and New Zealand partners, in particular the initiative for the protection and sustainable management of coral reefs in the South Pacific, called CRISP, which could be developed to the north of the Equator, and the initiative for the fight against solid waste. France may promote the regional expertise of its research centres in New Caledonia and Polynesia, developed by French research conferences in the Pacific, including a new session expected to be held in Papeete in autumn 2006.

The summit emphasized the necessary pooling of human and technical resources and the optimization of the resources implemented by Australia, France, New Zealand and the European Union for the entire region.

Final declaration (Paris, 26 June 2006)
"The Summit discussed mainly subjects of common interest in respect of strengthening French-Pacific relations and regional cooperation. They stressed their belief that the Pacific Region should be a region of peace, harmony, security and economic prosperity, based on the values of democracy and respect for, and promotion of, human rights and good governance. They determined to work together to support the objectives of the Pacific Plan adopted by the Pacific Island Forum Leaders at their meeting in Port Moresby in October 2005 and of the Millennium Development Goals. They emphasized the need to enhance economic growth, promote sustainable development and ensure good governance and security in the region. They noted the major economic, political and environmental challenges faced by Pacific island countries and their vulnerability to external shocks and emphasized the need, in particular to address the main environmental threats presenting huge challenges for the future of Small Island Developing States. They also recognized the importance of encouraging broad-based sustainable economic growth, so as to alleviate poverty and generate prosperity. Noting recent events in the region, they recalled the Biketawa Declaration of 2000, in which Pacific leaders made a commitment to act collectively in response to requests for assistance in times of crisis. "

Statements made by M. Jacques Chirac, President of the Republic, during his joint press briefing with Sir Michael Somare, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, current Chairman of the Pacific Islands Forum (Paris, 26 June 2006)
"In this respect, France, who is present in the region has interests and concerns which you mentioned: the problems of climate warming, fisheries, development and inter-regional trade are matters which concern France. Hence it’s natural for there to be perfect cooperation between France, Australia and New Zealand on everything to do with the region. I can tell you that this cooperation has developed gradually, is problem-free and knows no limits."

Welcoming speech by M. Jacques Chirac, President of the Republic, on the occasion of the second France-Oceania Meeting (Paris, 26 June 2006)

"Three years after our meeting in Papeete, your presence is a sign of our friendship and of your commitment to the dialogue we have achieved. Political stability, economic development and environmental liability: those are the challenges that unite us and will be central to our discussions."

Published on 12/02/2008

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