PRESS RELEASE 225
Spain Signs the Memorandum of Understanding with the Pacific Small Island Developing States

01/10/2014

On 26 September, on the sidelines of the general debate of the 69th session of the General Assembly and of the Summit on Climate Change, the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Mr García-Margallo, signed Spain's accession to the Memorandum of Understanding that Italy has had since 2007 with the Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Spain's initial contribution to this development cooperation mechanism was one million euros. This collaboration agreement was extended to other countries in our region such as Austria and Luxembourg, through various procedures and in previous years.

The Pacific States that have signed this Memorandum of Understanding are the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

The purpose of the agreement is to strengthen bilateral relations between the signatory countries and to promote the financing of projects aimed at combating climate change, among other issues, which is a top priority for these countries. These projects will be managed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

The Memorandum seeks to promote collaboration projects for adapting to climate change, developing and using renewable energies, developing sustainable tourism, or transferring scientific and technical know-how and experience, and technology.

A Joint Committee has been created to monitor, coordinate and approve the actions and projects launched within the framework of this collaboration agreement. It regularly meets in New York, both at ministerial level and at the UN Heads of Mission level. Indeed, Spain has signed up to the Memorandum of Understanding at ministerial level within the framework of the annual meeting of the Joint Committee meeting.

The agreement that Spain has signed is an instrument that is well regarded by its beneficiaries and is proving to be a successful model for cooperation. Since its creation in 2007, more than 20 cooperation projects have been launched in the different sectors covered by the agreement and the results of the initial projects begun in 2007-2008 are already being assessed.

In the case of Spain, the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding opens up an avenue for promoting Spanish foreign policy in the Pacific region, while strengthening bilateral relations with a large number of countries.

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