Strategic Context: The Influences that Shape Our Region
As large oceanic countries and territories, we are the custodians of nearly 20 percent of the earth’s surface, and we place great cultural and spiritual value on our ocean and land, as our common heritage.
We occupy a vitally significant place in global strategic terms. As a consequence, heightened geopolitical competition impacts our Member countries. Further, there is increasing commercial and state-sponsored interest in our region’s ecological and natural resources. This is reflected in the global community’s present interest in the “Blue Economy” and suggests that there will be growing demand for our resources over the years to come.
Under current trends global temperature rise will exceed 1.5°C before 2040 and 2°C between 2041 and 2060 unless there are rapid, deep and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions1. To avert and manage the worst-case scenarios requires urgent, robust and transformative action globally, regionally and nationally. While collective greenhouse gas emissions from the Blue Pacific Continent is just over 1%2 of global emissions, we are at the frontline of the adverse impacts of climate change. Harnessing untapped potential for policy interventions to enhance carbon sequestration of the ecosystems and Exclusive Economic Zones of the Blue Pacific Continent could generate substantial climate benefits. The Blue Pacific Continent continues to experience damaging impacts of climate change and requires timely access to scaled-up, effective and sustainable climate finance.
2050 Strategy: The Opportunity to Shape our Future
To leverage this strategic and economic value and at the same time address our most significant threats, including climate change, we are deeply committed to working together whilst ensuring that our regional efforts complement the national interests of our Members. As the Blue Pacific Continent we engage with our partners from a position of strength, unity and solidarity on matters of collective interest.
We will prepare and position ourselves through technology, scientifically-based research, cultural values and traditional knowledge, and equitable partnerships to secure our ocean and derive economic benefits from its resources in a manner that will maintain environmental integrity and drive sustainable economic prosperity and development for all Pacific peoples.
We will continue to collectively support each other in our shared responsibilities through both positive and challenging times. Furthermore, it is vital to our Blue Pacific Identity that we resolve any challenges or disputes in our own unique Pacific Way involving consensus-based decision making, whilst respecting sovereignty and the principle of non-interference in national affairs. Above all, our efforts must always lead and contribute to the security, prosperity and wellbeing of our people.
The 2050 Strategy is our opportunity to engage with and shape the most significant dynamics and influences on our region, in order to secure our long-term wellbeing and prosperity. Through the Strategy, we will ensure we are resilient and ‘future-ready’ by being able to anticipate, prepare for and respond to hazardous climate events, geopolitical and security trends, and other unanticipated shocks.
Leaders Commitments to 2050
To secure our Blue Pacific Continent by 2050, and building on existing priorities, we commit ourselves as Leaders of the Blue Pacific to do as follows:
i. To nurture collective political will and deepen regionalism and solidarity, we will invest in leadership development, diplomatic capacity and relationship building at all levels and pursue our national interests mindful of our agreed collective regional priorities. We will also endeavour to resolve our challenges and disputes in our own unique Pacific Way.
ii. To collectively deliver for our people, we will ensure that the Pacific Islands Forum and wider regional architecture is coherent and effective, and that they deliver on our collective strategic priorities. Further, we will ensure that they allow for the inclusion and engagement of the private sector; civil society; media; academia; community; cultural and faith-based organisations; development partners; and other equally valuable constituencies.
iii. To embed our Blue Pacific identity, we will embrace our cultural diversities, respect our national sovereignties, and protect our collective interests. We will honour and reflect our rich values and traditions by acting as the Blue Pacific Continent to position our region with our partners as well as in global negotiations and processes.
iv. To secure the well-being of our people, we will work together to strengthen national and regional efforts to ensure all Pacific peoples benefit from enhanced provision of education, health and other services. To achieve this, we will place emphasis on learning from each other, drawing on scientifically-based research and traditional knowledge as well as promoting human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of all people.
v. To protect our people and our place we will have a more flexible and responsive regional security system that acknowledges the breadth of issues impacting peace and security in our region, and the contribution the region makes in international fora to progressing global peace and security.
vi. To accelerate our economic growth aspirations, we will invest our shared expertise to quantify and determine the full value of our people, oceanic and land-based natural resources. Where appropriate, we will use this value as the basis of our negotiations regarding access to these resources.
vii. To guarantee the future of our children, we will urgently advocate as a collective to reduce and prevent the causes and impacts of climate change and sea level rise; we will call for stronger global commitment to combat climate change; we will continue to pursue innovative measures to address climate change impacts and disaster risk; and with the support of our partners, we commit to ensuring net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
viii. To secure a future for our people, we will deepen our collective responsibility and accountability for the stewardship of the Blue Pacific Continent and protect our sovereignty and jurisdiction over our maritime zones and resources, including in response to climate change induced sea level rise, and strengthen our ownership and management of our resources.
ix. To protect our ocean and environment, we commit to safeguarding the integrity of our natural systems and biodiversity through conservation action and by minimising activities that degrade, pollute, overexploit, or undermine our ocean and natural environment.
x. To ensure a well-connected region, we commit to invest in and strengthen our partnerships and regional regulatory arrangements to support transport and information, communication and technology services and infrastructure.