Human Security and Gender Sensitive Policy Workshop: Promoting and Protecting Sustainable Development


The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in partnership with the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (APCR2P) of the University of Queensland, Australia recently hosted a workshop at the Forum Secretariat in Suva, Fiji that was designed to examine how government officials could localise regional commitments to human security and gender equality to build inclusive and sustainable development.

Participants considered key human security and gender issues that have an impact on national development outcomes as well as issues-based case studies, for example, linkages between human security and land management in Vanuatu, disaster management in Solomon Islands, and national policing and defence policy in Papua New Guinea. This allowed participants to examine the human security challenges that affect the achievement of equitable development in their countries, including climate change and related human security issues (e.g. food security), land security, unemployment and underemployment, especially of women and youth, and gender based violence.

Ms Janice Mose of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade of the Solomon Islands said, “What really stood out for me was the shift from state security focus to human security focus, and thinking about security as not just state focused – the responsibility of policing or correctional services. Understanding that problems with environment, with health, with society can also been seen as about security, about dignity and about safety. If these things are coming onto the global agenda then we need to rethink how we understand security.”

Participants from Kiribati also examined the possibility of establishing a Government of Kiribati Human Security Framework that was aimed at mainstreaming human security principles into government programmes and activities, to be overseen by a National Human Security Task Force.

Participants discussed on the importance of localising international and regional policy frameworks in ways that are both strategic and would match their national priorities. This was a point highlighted by Ms Felicia Carvalho of the g7+ Secretariat in her keynote address at the workshop. “The success of the policies and the sustainability of the results depended on the extent to which the local realities were reflected in them,” she said. “In Timor Leste, we introduced a nationwide campaign called ‘goodbye conflict and welcome development’ which generated traction in the mindset of the people of Timor Leste.”

The Forum Secretariat’s Acting Secretary General, Ms Andie Fong-Toy welcomed the opportunity provided by the workshop to discuss links between human security, gender equality and development. “While some work has gone into implementing regional policy frameworks on these topics separately, rarely has there been an opportunity to consider how these three issues are interrelated with one another,” she said. “Seeking ways to reduce inequalities in human security is an important task in ensuring that our development efforts are effective and inclusive of all people in our Pacific Island countries.”

Nicole George of the University of Queensland noted the importance of the meeting for the APCR2P. “Bringing people from across different sectors of government together to talk freely and openly about the prospects and challenges of building peaceful and inclusive societies is an activity which is strongly aligned to our centre’s interests in the promotion of conflict prevention, and an engagement we hope to build on in the future,” she said.

Senior officials from the ministries of Finance, Planning, Justice, Police and Women of the governments of Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea as well as representatives of the private sector and non-governmental organisations of these Forum member countries attended the workshop that was held on 20 – 21 November 2014 at the Forum Secretariat in Suva. The workshop was considered timely for these five Forum member countries in the light of their respective preparations to review their National Sustainable Development Plans.


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Human Security Framework for the Pacific
The Human Security Framework for the Pacific was developed in consultation with Forum Member countries on the human security approach in the Pacific and depicts a common representation of the unique understanding of human security in the Pacific region. The Framework aims to provide a clear common foundation and strategic guidance to Forum Island Countries, the Secretariat and other stakeholders for improving the understanding, planning and implementation of human security approaches in stand-alone and broader peace, security and development initiatives in the unique Pacific context.

For more information on the Human Security Framework for the Pacific, please visit

Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration
The Declaration reflects Forum Leaders’ renewed commitment to implement the gender equality actions of the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Millennium Development Goals, the Revised Pacific Platform for Action on Advancement of Women and Gender Equality, and the Pacific Plan. The Declaration commits to addressing gender equality in six main areas, including, inter alia, Gender Responsive Government Programs and Policies, and Decision making and leadership.

For more information on the Pacific Island Forum’s gender work, please visit

Forum Compact
The Forum Compact sets out collective actions designed to strengthen coordination and use of all development resources in the Pacific in line with international best-practice as expressed in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the Accra Action Agenda and Pacific Principles on Aid Effectiveness. The Compact is based on principles which reflect the shared commitment of Forum Island Countries and development partners to lifting the economic and development performance of the region.

For more information on the Forum Compact and other information on sustainable development, please visit


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