New Forum Committee Embraces Civil Society, Business and Public Sector Skills

Suva, Fiji- The new subcommittee set up by the Troika of past, current and future chairs of Pacific Islands Forum leaders includes a mix of civil society, business and public sector specialists, asserted Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Forum Secretariat.
Taylor said when the eight member subcommittee meets for the first time in Suva next week, “They will respond to other people’s wisdom and play a proactive role in championing new debate and analysis on emerging issues in our region.”
Among the public sector members, she said, is Mr Gustav Aitaro, Director of Foreign Affairs in the Government of Palau, “and has experience and expertise in economic planning, public policy formulation and implementation, sustainable development, gender issues and geopolitical relations in the Pacific region.”
The secretary general was also delighted to welcome Mr Lopeti Senituli, CEO of the Tongan Ministry of Internal Affairs, who she recalled, “also has extensive experience in civil society organisations, having previously headed the Pacific Concerns Resource Centre and Tonga’s Community Development Trust. Mr Senituli has also served as Press Secretary and Political Advisor to the Prime Minister, and Senior Executive Officer of the Ministry of Labour, Commerce and Industries.”
Secretary General Taylor said she was looking forward to seeing Mr John Davidson of Australia who has worked extensively in Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and the World Bank, “one of the most respected development professionals in our region who brings to our work extensive experience in the implementation of policy and loan- and grant-based programs. He has particular expertise in regional approaches to development issues, governance and public sector reform, service delivery in decentralised governance systems, organisational development, and alternative activity delivery modalities.”
Other members of the subcommittee which meets on Monday and Tuesday are: Ms Teresa Manarangi-Trott, Mr William Kostka and Mr Peter Kiley. -Ends-
Background Information:
About the Framework for Pacific Regionalism:
Mandated by Pacific Island Leaders at their annual Forum in July 2014. It articulates the vision, values and objectives of an invigorated Pacific–wide regionalism, and positions Pacific Islands Leaders to make game-changing decisions about the agenda and priorities for the Pacific region.
About the Pacific Islands Forum:
A political grouping of 16 independent and self-governing states. Its Secretariat (PIFS) is based in Suva, Fiji, to deliver on the decisions made at the annual Forum Leaders meetings and high level ministerial meetings. PIFS is led by the Secretary General (currently Dame Meg Taylor of Papua New Guinea) who is directly responsible to the Forum Leaders and to the Forum Officials’ Committee (FOC). PIFS is mandated to coordinate the implementation of the Framework for Pacific Regionalism.
For more information, please contact:
Joel Nilon
Framework for Pacific Regionalism Adviser
T: +679 331 2600
For media enquiries, please contact

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