Apia, Samoa (March 19)– Policy consultations to inform the development of regional initiatives called for by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders are taking place this week in Samoa.
The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat has been conducting consultations over the last three months to gather the views of Government officials, civil society and private sector representatives, and members of the public, to form a deeper understanding of its members’ common development issues.
“The concept of a Blue Pacific that Forum Leaders endorsed during their 2017 meeting here in Apia last September aims to harness our shared ocean identity, geography and resources to develop policies that will drive positive change for our people; these consultations will be key in informing such policies,” Cristelle Pratt, the Pacific Islands Forum Deputy Secretary General said.
“We celebrate our resources, environment, and cultures but we also recognize that we achieve more working as a collective rather than individual countries thus the importance we place on initiatives that will promote regionalism, like these consultations, as architects of our own future.”
“The discussions this week will form the basis of policy advice that the Forum Secretariat will provide to the Forum Leaders when they meet later this year in Nauru.”
To date the consultations have covered a range of existing regionalism proposals that Forum Leaders have asked the Secretariat to investigate further. These include the proposed Biketawa Plus security declaration, a Forum Foreign Policy, a Pacific Resilience Fund, options for labour mobility, and arrangements to strengthen resilient development in the Pacific.
Ms Pratt is accompanied by two Advisers from the Forum Secretariat, Timothy Bryar and Alfred Schuster.