A crucial step in the preparations for the 2015 Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting began today in Suva. The Forum Officials Committee (FOC) comprising senior officials from across the region gathered to discuss the game changing, regional priorities to be taken to Leaders in Port Moresby in September.
In opening the meeting Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor noted that the Pacific region was complex and faced many challenges but that there are exciting opportunities ahead for regional and collective action.
“As senior officials of the region we make every effort to realise the Leaders’ expectations for deeper regionalism, as articulated by the Framework for Pacific Regionalism. This means sharpening focus on high priority issues and on the delivery of results – results that make a practical and positive difference to the lives of Pacific people”
The Committee focused discussion on a range of initiatives identified through the new Framework for Pacific Regionalism. Each had been submitted through an inclusive public consultation process earlier this year that sought submissions from across the Pacific Islands Forum countries. 68 initial submissions were received and considered by the Specialist Sub-Committee on Regionalism.
“The Framework for Pacific Regionalism envisages a new way of working. Over the next two days we will discuss the steps that have been taken so far, to ensure that the Forum Secretariat gives effect to the Framework’s values and overall ambition of a more strategic and dynamic regional agenda.”
Proceedings commenced with Tuvalu, the current chair of the FOC, welcoming Fiji’s participation in the meeting of the Committee.
Deliberations continue tomorrow with the primary outcome expected to be a focused list of regional initiatives that will reinforce the vision highlighted in the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, endorsed by the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in 2014.
Useful links: SG Dame Meg Taylor’s speech to FOC