OPENING REMARKS – MELANESIA SUB-REGIONAL PRIVATE SECTOR WORKSHOP ON CLIMATE FINANCE
BY MR ESALA NAYASI, DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL, PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM
29 August 2023
- Senior government officials from Solomon Islands and Melanesia
- Distinguished members of the private sector
- Our partners from within and outside the region
- Ladies and Gentlemen
- Good morning and along with our co-host, the Government of Solomon Islands and the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a very warm welcome to you all.
- This is the third private sector workshop on climate finance for the Melanesia sub-region and builds on previous workshops hosted by Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu in 2018 and 2021 respectively, including the experiences and learnings from similar workshops in the sub-regions of Polynesia and Micronesia.
- We can all agree that the private sector plays a key role in our development aspirations. Your presence at this sub-regional workshop is testament to that. We are also aware that private sector development across our region is not uniform, not to mention the unique context of our individual countries, which adds to the challenge of how the private sector can engage more effectively, particularly in the context of climate change finance.
- At the regional level, the political will and appetite to engage with the private sector is strong. The 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent recently endorsed by Leaders in July 2022 – advocates for the advancement of Pacific regionalism for the next three decades, inclusive of all stakeholders.
- This is further emphasized through the Framework for Pacific Regionalism with the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific (FRDP) and its complementary Pacific Resilience Partnership (PRP) underlining the need for a multi-sector and multi-stakeholder approach to climate change and disaster risk reduction inclusive of the private sector. We cannot achieve our vision of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion, and prosperity, if all our stakeholders are not reflected in the policies and frameworks that we are developing.
- The 2050 Strategy Implementation Plan is under development, with the process to finalize this work inclusive of private sector voices. It is important that we keep abreast of this development to ensure that in moving towards the future, our approaches, from the public and private sectors complement and strengthen each other.
- It is important to say, that what is happening at the regional level, mirrors and complements what is happening at the national level. Your presence at this workshop is an opportunity to inform how we can work together going forward.
- From your individual experiences as countries, how is the private sector being reflected in your national development strategies and equally important at the core of your implementation? There is a lot that we can learn from each other, and in the process, help guide what we as your regional organizations can strengthen to better support more effective engagement of the private sector.
[Objectives of the Workshop]
- Looking back at the outcomes of the previous Melanesia sub-regional workshops – the key messages about the challenges and opportunities of accessing climate change resources remain relevant and valid.
- We are encouraged by the fact that most of our Melanesian member countries took advantage of the opportunities through the EU-PACRES Project. These included support towards the private sector mapping that helps provide a baseline of where the private sector is situated in national resilience efforts, the regional capacity building programme, peer-to-peer learning, and technical support to strengthen your national private sector organisation.
- I also note the Melanesia Needs-based Climate Finance Strategy which you have all been part of its development. It is a good example of sub-regional collaboration building on and complementing existing climate finance work and networks.
- This workshop should complement and assist in further unpacking the areas of collaboration we can build on, including opportunities for strengthened meaningful engagement, and genuine partnership through greater understanding of the respective roles both the public and private sector can play in the context of climate change and disaster risk reduction.
- I also take this opportunity to acknowledge the presence of our various partners working to support inclusive private sector led economic growth. Let us make the most of all of us being here during these few days.
- Understanding the need for strengthened partnership, please allow me to acknowledge with sincere gratitude, the assistance of the European Union through the Intra-African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Global Climate Change Alliance+ (GCCA+) Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change and Resilience Building program or PACRES, without which this sub-regional workshop would not have been possible.
- I also acknowledge the invaluable support of the Government of Solomon Islands and the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry in graciously accepting to host the workshop in Honiara.
- My appreciation as well to our partners who will be imparting knowledge and sharing their expertise, and all of you here today as through your interactive participation, we can learn and improve.
- I thank everyone again for making the effort to be present at this workshop.
- I wish everyone a fruitful meeting and look forward to receiving the outcomes of your discussions.