Remarks delivered by the Secretary General by the Pacific Islands Forum, Henry Puna
at the fifth Pacific Trade Invest Independent Advisory Board Meeting
Auckland, New Zealand, 12 October 2023
Members of the Pacific Trade and Invest Independent Advisory Board; and
Our Trade Commissioners from the Pacific Trade & Invest Network.
Kia orana to you all and again, thank you very much for making the time for this 5th meeting of the PTI Advisory Board.
I will keep my comments very brief, and as with all our engagements, I encourage us to approach these discussions in an informal yet constructive manner.
At the outset, allow me to acknowledge Glynis and her Team for hosting this Meeting today. In many ways, it is like returning home for me, as this was the very office where I started my tenure as Secretary General just 2 and a half years ago.
It is also a reminder that this very Advisory Board, is one of the few initiatives that I can say took hold, developed and has been fully established under my watch and I am very proud of the work that the Board has accomplished in its short life to date.
So, allow me to thank each of you for your ongoing contribution to the discussions, and working to support the growth and development of the PTI Network.
As we delve into today’s agenda, we will embark on a journey through significant milestones. The implementation of the 2050 strategy, nearing its endorsement by our Forum leaders, sets the stage for today’s discussions.
We will hear updates on the progress of the Network from the Trade Commissioners and reflect on the Board’s impressions of our year-long journey together.
Just last week, we concluded the Forum Trade Ministers Meeting (FTMM) and for the first time, the PTI Network had a voice at the table with the Ministers.
The PTI Network Strategic Plan 2023 – 2026 was presented for endorsement by our Ministers and the outcome of FTMM will be considered, together with the potential improvements for the PTI Network and its funding agreements.
These outcomes will provide a solid footing as we shape the Network for sustainability, expansion, and the resolution of the challenges that come our way.
As always, I continue to welcome the Board’s ongoing advice to ensure prudence and ethics in our conduct, and establishing a system that supports PTI’s performance.
In our pursuit of cooperation with the private sector, we will hear from the Pacific Island Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO), further strengthening the foundation of our network.
We will also explore the comparative advantages we possess and the harmonisation of the Network with the Forum, exemplified by the IPSAS transition, a pivotal topic on our agenda.
As we move forward, my office remains committed to supporting the PTI Network on the strongest administrative footing possible, helping it evolve into a cohesive and robust entity while delivering on its value proposition and ensuring sound governance.
I eagerly anticipate the comprehensive discussions that lie ahead today. Let us work together, with a shared vision and unwavering commitment, to steer PTI towards greater success and prosperity for our members and partners.
Thank you for all your dedication and contributions.
Vinaka vakalevu Ngā mihi nui ki a koe.