Workshop on Partner Engagement, Governance and Development Coordination Mechanisms
20-21 April 2023
Opening Remarks by Acting Secretary General,
Pacific Islands Forum, Dr. Filimon Manoni
• Your Excellencies and Senior Officials, Bula Vinaka, and a very good morning to all of you here at the Secretariat Headquarters in Suva and to others joining us virtually. On behalf of the Secretary General, I welcome you to what I understand is the third such gathering for most here this week, and I thank you for your continued enthusiasm, support, and engagement.
• Excellencies and Senior Officials, the workshop today is a gathering of the Senior Officials of the Forum Officials Committee (FOC) and Economic Officials and is an opportunity to discuss the existing engagement modalities within the Pacific Islands Forum and how these can be strengthened to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of engagement with the multitude of development and dialogue partners whilst also support the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent and its related priorities.
• Your Excellencies, the convening of this workshop is an outcome of several of our members decisions including:
o The 2022 meeting of Forum Economic Ministers where Ministers called for the development of a regional mechanism for engagement and advocacy with development partners on key issues raised at the Public Financial Management Symposium and Pacific Regional Debt Conference:
o The 2022 Budget Forum Officials Committee meeting where officials called for a discussion on strengthened partner engagement and development coordination mechanisms to inform discussions on the 2050 Strategy
• I appreciate that some of us may not have had the opportunity to be fully appraised on the various mechanisms and modalities for governance and engagement that exist within the Pacific Islands Forum. I also recognize that there are several regional processes and reviews (including the Review of Regional Architecture) occurring concurrently to our discussions.
• Nevertheless I would urge you all to take the opportunity presented by the workshop nature of our discussions and the presence of our senior officials from both the Foreign Affairs and Ministries of Economy to discuss in detail your views, concerns and suggestions for supporting a more conducive, effective and efficient environment to support our engagement, cooperation and coordination modalities in support of the 2050 Strategy for a Blue Pacific Continent.
• I urge you to recall discussions on the policy options presented to your various subcommittees including the FOC International Engagement and Advocacy Sub-Committee and Pacific Economic Sub-Committee but most importantly I urge you all to proactively engage and participate in the break out sessions and discussions on a way forward.
• I wish you well in your deliberations over the next few days and with the Secretariat, stand ready to support your discussions.
• Excellencies, Senior Officials, I thank you.
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