REMARKS: ASG Manoni at the launch of the 2022 Pacific Sustainable Development report

LAUNCH OF THE SECOND QUADRENNIAL PACIFIC SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2022
Remarks by Dr Filimon Manoni, Acting Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum
8 December 2022

Excellencies and Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Representatives of regional and international development agencies,
Ladies and gentlemen.

Greetings to you all.

1. This event today is focused on two key milestones – related but different.

2. Firstly, I want to talk about the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

3. As you all know the 16 Days of activism is an annual international campaign which PIFS marks through panel discussions, staff advocacy, talanoa sessions and support to services including women’s shelters.

4. It is important for the Secretariat to continue to observe the 16 Days campaign, not only as part of the work that PIFS’ engages in but also to create visibility on the issues of Gender Based Violence and human rights, and importantly to ensure that our staff are aware of these issues and supported.

5. I am pleased to share that as part of today’s event, we have a mixed media/art exhibition, thanks to our PIFS staff, SPC and UN Women as partners under the Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls.

6. This Exhibition highlights a couple of issues: (i) the impact of gender-based violence on not just women but also on our communities; and (ii) actions from around the region to prevent violence and support survivors. It includes poetry, song and dance, and visual displays.

7. I am sure it will be thought-provoking and enlightening, and I hope that this will contribute to renewing and stepping up our collective efforts to end Gender Based Violence.

8. The message is clear – there is no place for violence in our homes, our communities, and our workplaces; and certainly no place for violence in our Blue Pacific region.

9. In working towards meeting the 2030 Agenda and realising our Pacific Leaders’ ambitions for 2050, we must continue to advocate for and realise a just, safe and secure environment for our people.

Second Quadrennial Pacific Sustainable Development Report 2022

10. That leads me to the 2nd key milestone for today – the launch of the “Second Quadrennial Pacific Sustainable Development Report 2022”, which centres on people and well-being.

11. Today’s exhibition for 16 Days of activism is a key reminder of the struggles of our people and the hardships most have to endure daily.

12. It is also a reminder that we need to work better together to improve our wellbeing and lives particularly the lives of our most vulnerable.

13. The “Second Quadrennial Pacific Sustainable Development Report 2022” highlights a disturbing reality with a key message that “All countries have incorporated the SDGs into national policies and strategies. However, none of the 21 targets expected to be achieved by 2020 were achieved. It is also unlikely that the Pacific will achieve even 20% of the SDG targets by 2030.”

14. This is worrisome given that our sustainability requires the restoration of social, economic and environmental stability, by investing in clean equitable growth through political frameworks and settlements that foster peace and partnership.

15. The report covers key sustainable development dimensions of people, planet and prosperity. The following touches on the main findings of the report:

People

16. On People, the report notes:
• Weakening traditional systems and a lack of social protection mechanisms
• Limited progress on NCDs
• Unacceptable levels of violence against women and girls
• Urgent work is required to improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) including facilities.
• A need for targeted investment into young people especially to develop non-cognitive skills

Planet
17. On Planet, the report notes:
• Climate-induced disaster losses of around USD500 million
• Lack of coordination and implementation of Ocean indicators
• Fisheries coastal data is critical for investments and management
• The Pacific has the highest petroleum fuel dependency, linking oil price volatility to macroeconomics, energy security and household disposable incomes

Prosperity
18. On Prosperity, the report notes:
• The key role of remittances which accounts for around 35 per cent of the nominal Pacific GDP
• The majority of Pacific countries have relatively weak fiscal positions with a high level of indebtedness
• The report also notes our Pacific COVID response on Tourism with the Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework (2021-2030) and on fisheries with the adoption of the Regional Longline Strategy.
Refined and coordinated service delivery
19. When our leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, they envisioned us moving forward, in partnerships – within the region and with international development agencies and development partners.

20. This “Second Quadrennial Pacific Sustainable Development Report 2022” is a testament to this by linking the 2030 agenda to the Pacific Leaders 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.

21. Our 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, provides us with an overarching blueprint to advance Pacific regionalism for the next three decades, articulating the region’s long-term vision, values, and key thematic areas and strategic pathways.

22. It is, in effect, our regional approach to working in a cooperative, coordinated, and more integrated manner, drawing on our common strengths, and common resources, to achieve our development aspirations as framed by the SDGs.

23. And at the heart of our strategy – our “Blue Pacific Strategy” is our belief that our ocean and our people – including of course our women and girls – are absolutely critical to the achievement of our vision and aspirations as, defined by our Leaders.

24. Finally, I want to end my remarks on the “Second Quadrennial Pacific Sustainable Development Report 2022” by acknowledging the support and guidance of the Pacific Steering Committee and the technical advisers from across the CROP agencies, the United Nations in the Pacific, the Private Sector and Civil Society representatives who have worked together to deliver the report before us.

25. It is indeed my honour to launch this “Second Quadrennial Pacific Sustainable Development Report 2022” and encourage us all to use it to inform planning, policy and implementation actions towards a safe, secure, resilient, equal and inclusive Blue Pacific Continent.

26. I also invite you all to stay with us for the 16 Days of Activism Exhibition, and hope that as we look towards 2023, the Exhibition and the issues highlighted in the second Quadrennial report shape your work for next year and beyond.

27. We wish you all a blessed Christmas and look forward to working with you all again in 2023.

28. I thank you.–ENDS