Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (March 9, 2018) – Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor met with Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Peter O’Neill today a part of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s regional policy consultations are taking place this week and covering a range of issues including regional security, labour mobility, and strengthening the region’s resilience to the effects of climate change and disaster.
The Secretariat has been engaged in meetings across the week with senior government officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Planning, the Climate Change and Development Authority, the Department of Labour and Immigration, as well as the National Research Institute, the Consultative Implementation and Monitoring Council, and the Institute of National Affairs. They have also been in dialogue with representatives of civil society and private sector organisations.
“Guided by its commitment to Pacific Regionalism, which calls for member countries to work together for the common good of all, the Forum strives for inclusive policy development that is informed by the experiences and insight of its people across all levels of our societies. I strongly believe that the people of Papua New Guinea have a lot to offer the wider “Blue Pacific” region,” said Dame Meg.
“For example, Pacific island countries and communities must work together to build a region that is increasingly resilient to the effects of climate change and disaster. Our discussions this week will include a look at what Papua New Guinea could both offer and receive from innovative and sustainable financing solutions for economic resilience. This is something that we hope to present to Forum Economic Ministers Meeting when they meet in April in Palau.”
The Secretary General also drew attention to the ongoing work to prepare a regional security declaration, or Biketawa Plus saying, “ensuring the security of our people and their environment is at the heart of our efforts to build a peaceful, inclusive, and prosperous region. The current security arrangements have served us well, but new and emerging issues including human security and humanitarian assistance now require us to think about how we can expand our concept of how we protect and care for our people.”
The series of regional policy consultations has been facilitated by the Forum Secretariat right across the Pacific over the last three months in order to support the socialisation and development of Forum priorities such as Biketawa Plus, the Pacific Resilience Fund, and the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific. Drawing on member feedback arising from the consultations, the Forum Secretariat will prepare policy papers on these key issues for the consideration of Forum Leaders at their meeting in Nauru in September 2018.