At the 2005 Pacific Islands Forum held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Leaders welcomed and endorsed the Pacific Plan for strengthening regional cooperation and integration. In endorsing the Plan, Leaders agreed to note, among other things, the need to advocate the special and peculiar needs of Smaller Island States; provide special assistance for the implementation of the Pacific Plan, and ensure that they derive the fullest possible benefit from the Plan, particularly given their limited capacity and fragile and vulnerable environment.
To give effect to Leaders decision, the Smaller Islands States Unit, based at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Suva, Fiji, was established in 2006. The goals of this newly established Unit are to:
- Ensure that the Smaller Island States derive the fullest possible benefit from the Plan, as it develops;
- Ensure that SIS perspective is represented;
- Provide practical advice to SIS on the implementation of their commitments under the Plan;
- Provide in-country capacity to allow the SIS to further realize the benefits of current and future regional assistance in areas such as employment, aviation, shipping, tourism (including product development), and investigation of the feasibility of establishing an alternative soft loan financing facility;
- Advocate the special and peculiar needs of SIS throughout the Secretariat with an ultimate aim of mainstreaming these special needs in the work programme of the Secretariat and where possible those of the CROP agencies;
- Provide secretariat support service to the Annual SIS Leaders Summit, and;
- Coordinate projects that are specifically targeted at assisting SIS in their development needs.
Membership of the Smaller Island States comprises of the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau and Tuvalu.
Desk officers & staff of the Forum Secretariat at a planning workshop held at the Forum Secretariat headquarters in Suva, 2013
Click here to contact the individual SIS Country Desk Officers.