The Maldives has taken a significant step towards enhancing international cooperation by signing the “Samoa Agreement” with the European Union (EU) and the Organisation of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS). The signing ceremony was held at the OACPS headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

Ambassador Geela Ali, representing the Maldives in Belgium, signed the agreement on behalf of the Maldives. Alongside the signing, the Maldives submitted declarations and reservations related to specific articles within the agreement, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The Samoa Agreement serves as an overarching framework for EU-OACPS relations over the next two decades. It prioritises critical areas such as democracy, human rights, sustainable economic growth, climate change, social development, peace, security, and migration.

This marks the Maldives’ first partnership agreement with the European Union, opening doors for enhanced economic development, trade, environment, and climate change cooperation. OACPS Member States stand to benefit substantially from their collaboration with the EU.

The agreement unites 79 OACPS member states and 27 EU member states, representing nearly two billion people worldwide. These nations encompass diverse socio-economic backgrounds and collectively account for over half of the United Nations member states.

The OACPS, established in 1975 under the “Georgetown Agreement,” comprises African, Caribbean, and Pacific States. The Maldives joined as a full member on 9 December 2022 during the Ibrahim Mohamed Solih administration. Since then, the Maldives has actively collaborated with OACPS and the EU to address global challenges.