The Pacific Islands Forum’s Specialist Sub-Committee on Regionalism welcomed four new members this week as they meet for the first time in 2018.
New to the Sub-Committee are representative for Micronesia, Mr. Gerson Alik Jackson; representative for Polynesia, Ms Esther Lameko-Poutoa; representative for Civil Society, Mr Siotame Drew Havea; and representative for Private Sector, Mr Stephen Lyon.
The Pacific Islands Forum Troika appoint new members to the Sub-Committee. The Sub-Committee plays a central role in analysing the policy needs of the Pacific region and making recommendations to Forum Leaders about the ways in which Forum member countries can work collectively for the benefit of their people.
Speaking upon the announcement of the new members, Sub-Committee Chair and Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Dame Meg Taylor said “I am very pleased to welcome these experienced and enthusiastic individuals to this important group. Our region needs concerted collective action to truly make the most of what we have for our people, and I’m confident that this Sub-Committee has the right mix of skills to ensure we put the best advice in front Pacific Islands Forum Leaders when they need it.”
The Secretary General also acknowledged the four departing members saying, “Gustav Aitaro, Lopeti Senituli, Willie Kostka, and Peter Kiely have made a great contribution to regionalism through their hard work over the last 3 years and on behalf of the region I would like to thank them”
This week the Sub-Committee’s discussions were focussed on the policy proposals submitted to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat during the recently concluded region-wide public consultations. Guiding their recommendations were the “Blue Pacific” identity that harnesses the region’s shared ocean identity, geography, and resources, and which Forum Leaders committed to in 2017 in Samoa as being the catalyst for Pacific regionalism.
The new appointees join existing members Mr John Davidson (representative for Australia or New Zealand); Ms. Theresa Manarangi-Trott (representative for Smaller Island States); and Mr Leonard Louma (representative for Melanesia).
More information regarding the Specialist Sub-Committee on Regionalism, their terms of reference and their work in the past, can be found on the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s website.