France and Tuvalu

Political relations

Our relations with Tuvalu remain modest but are developing gradually. They are supported by the geographical proximity of the French overseas community of Wallis and Futuna, which enabled the signing in Suva (Fiji) of an agreement on the perimeter of our maritime areas in the Pacific between our countries, on 16 September 2015. The documents signed represent a strong determination to preserve resources from overexploitation and illegal trafficking.

Moreover, France made considerable efforts in the 1990s to develop Tuvalu’s infrastructure, with the construction of the two buildings of Nauti Primary School, the country’s main primary school, and the electrification of the Tuvalu Maritime Training Institute (TMTI) (solar energy), as well as contributions to the modernization of Funafuti International Airport (navigation equipment and tarmac) and the development of staple crops farming on the island of Nanumanga.

France’s bilateral assistance later focused on capacity building, with support for the analysis of marine resources, environmental protection and biodiversity (via an NGO), and the mapping of the sea bed through a scientific research campaign in 2010 by the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER)’s vessel Atalante.
Lastly, as regards the management of natural disasters, emergency assistance was sent following the disastrous flooding caused by Cyclone Pam in March 2015 (2 tonnes of humanitarian freight transported from New Caledonia by a French Air Force CASA aircraft).

Visits

Mr Latoala Metia, Tuvalu Minister of Finance, took part in the third France-Oceania Summit in Nouméa on 31 July 2009. A meeting took place in Istanbul in May 2011 between Mr Serge Lepeltier, French Ambassador for climate negotiations, and the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Mr Willie Telavi, on the sidelines of the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries. On 27 August 2011, the Governor General of Tuvalu, Mr Iakoba Taeia Italeli, attended the opening ceremony of the Pacific Games in Nouméa, in the presence of the President of the French Republic.

The Tuvalu Prime Minister, Mr Enela Sopoaga, took part in the High-Level Dialogue on Climate Change chaired by the President of the French Republic at the headquarters of the Secretariat of the South Pacific Community in Nouméa on 17 November 2014.

Updated: 5 November 2015

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