Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade has called for a committed and effective partnership between Forum countries and development partners to the region.
Speaking at the opening of the 2012 Pacific Island Countries/Development Partners Meeting at the Secretariat in Suva, Fiji today, Mr Slade said the timing of the meeting is of particular significance given the outcomes of the major conferences in Busan, South Korea at the end of last year and the recent Rio +20 conference in Brazil. Forum Secretary General Mr Slade explained that the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness held in South Korea in November/December last year adopted the Busan Partnerships for Effective Development Cooperation calling for a more inclusive and transparent global partnership in the delivery, management and monitoring of development efforts and reaffirmed the role of development cooperation in supporting development outcomes.
The recent Rio +20 outcomes places sustainable development goals in the forefront of global attention and calls for a more balanced integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development in development efforts.
Mr Slade said in the Pacific region there is firm commitment to the relevance and currency of the Pacific Plan as the master strategy by ensuring it reflects updated priorities that can effectively be supported through regional cooperation and integration.
“In all these the centrality of the partnership approach cannot be emphasised enough. For Pacific countries, committed and effective partnership in development is simply critical. We know that regional and global evidence confirms that much more is needed to be done to enhance partnership arrangements to foster the resilience of Pacific countries and their coping capacities.” Forum Secretary General Mr Slade added: “We also know that effective partnerships must build on solid platforms. Otherwise, there cannot be real prospect for effective partnership with continued calls on development partners to meet obligations under the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) or internal commitments on financing for development if, for example Pacific countries are not consistent in providing robust national and sector plans, supported by clear monitoring and evaluation frameworks.”
“Equally, there cannot be real prospect where development partners continue to insist on inflexible partnership arrangements and rigid compliance frameworks, not explicitly defined by the unique socio-economic, environmental and small island geo-political features of Pacific countries,” Mr Slade said.
He further stated: “A partnership where expectations are pitched in differing contexts is at its best, a partnership foiled from the outset.”
Forum Secretary General Mr Slade called for a shared understanding of the Pacific context and diverse country situations and clear development priorities at the national and regional level. The two-day meeting, attended by senior officials from all the Forum countries, representatives of development partners and the civil society, will discuss the governance and working arrangements of the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, the Rio +20 Outcomes and Post 2015 Development Agenda, an Update of the Pacific Plan Priorities: 2013 – 2014 and the Pacific Plan Review, Climate Change Financing in the Pacific, Gender dimensions in strengthening development coordination and Engaging Non-State Actors to Support effective development cooperation.
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