Listening to the Pacific: Public call for transformative regional policy initiatives

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor today announced the 2016 public call for regional policy initiatives.

“This really is a valuable and unique opportunity. Pacific Leaders are committed to listening to the region and its people. The Framework for Pacific Regionalism guides progress towards greater cooperation and integration between members of the Pacific Islands Forum, and under the Framework, individuals and organisations from the private sector, civil society, community groups, government and academia, have a pivotal and highly valued role to play in helping shape the future of the Pacific region,” said Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and Chair of the Specialist Sub-Committee for Regionalism.

“We’re looking for regional initiatives that call for Forum Leaders oversight. Ultimately Leaders must address important issues where a regional approach can provide the best outcome for the Pacific region and its people.”

Submissions will be accepted up until Sunday 10th April. Following that they will be assessed by the Specialist Sub-Committee for Regionalism and a small number will then be referred on to Leaders of the Pacific Island Forum for their consideration when they meet in the Federated States of Micronesia later this year.

In 2015 Pacific Island Forum Leaders endorsed action on five significant issues that were identified through the inclusive public policy process outlined under the Framework for Pacific Regionalism. They covered ICT connectivity, increasing the sustainable economic returns of fisheries and evaluating regional monitoring, control and surveillance of Forum country waters, reducing the burden of cervical cancer, addressing allegations of human rights issues in West Papua (Papua), and producing a high level regional declaration on climate change to take to the COP21 climate meeting in Paris.

Since the Forum Leader’s meeting in Port Moresby last September, the Forum Secretariat has been working closely with the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific, Civil Society Organisations and other key international partners to implement the decisions made on these initiatives by Leaders. Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea and current Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum Hon. Peter O’Neill recently released an update on the progress made so far.

“The Sub-Committee and the Forum Secretariat are enthusiastic about the call for submissions this year. The initiatives submitted last year were innovative and well thought through. Ideas that could truly have a game changing effect on the future prospects for the Pacific region and its people. As I said before it’s a really valuable and unique process, and we look forward to seeing what emerges over the next few months.”

More information on the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, and 2016 initiative submission forms can be found at


More information: 

About the Framework for Pacific Regionalism:
The Framework aims to streamline the regional agenda and ensure that Pacific Islands Leaders have high level, political conversations on the Pacific’s regional priorities. Ultimately, the Framework aims to change the development paradigm to ensure that Pacific Islands Leaders are determining and driving the regional development agenda in order to deliver the kinds of public goods and services that ensure that we as a region are living healthy and fulfilling lives.

About the Specialist Sub-Committee for Regionalism:
The Sub Committee comprises eight eminent people representing the diverse interests of the Pacific Region. Its purpose is to identify and assess priority initiatives to advance Pacific regionalism for Leaders’ consideration, by recommending to the Forum Officials Committee which regional initiatives should be considered by Leaders, and which may be better overseen by Ministers or Regional Organisations. Download the Sub Committee’s terms of reference here.


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