The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat launched two Forum Compact Reports – 2012 Tracking the Effectiveness of Development Efforts in the Pacific and the Pacific Regional Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Tracking Report at a brief ceremony held on 9 October in Nadi, Fiji.
The two Reports were endorsed at the 43rd Pacific Islands Forum held in the Cook Islands in August.
“The Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific (Forum Compact) adopted in 2009 Forum Leaders called for more effective coordination of development resources from Pacific Island countries and all development partners so that Forum Island Countries and the region make faster progress towards the MDGs and national priorities. The Leaders asked for more comprehensive and consistent actions and evidence of both development outcomes and coordination process and tracking progress annually. These two Reports are in response to the Leaders’ request,” said Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
This is the third year that both Reports have been produced.
The 2012 Tracking the Effectiveness of Development Efforts in the Pacific Report covers progress in making better use of overall development resources. The 2012 Pacific MDG Tracking Report covers evidence of development outcomes in the 14 Forum island countries (FICs).
According to the 2012 Tracking the Effectiveness of Development Efforts in the Pacific Report, “there is evidence of positive change across the region with FICs exerting stronger leadership and directing development partners towards greater alignment behind their priorities.”
“FICs and their development partners are engaging in more regular country led policy dialogue and there is strong commitment to strengthening public financial management systems at the country level. Countries are also investing in improving their national planning and monitoring frameworks and addressing capacity issues in aid management.”
Key development partners have also significantly improved efforts to coordinate policy advice, technical assistance, funding support and missions with other partners and improve predictability of aid.
The Report however points out that there “is much more to be done including improving the links between plans, budgets and results; aid responding better to FIC needs and capacities; the region still needs improved transparency and predictability of ODA; improving the risk sharing for use of country systems and specific and targeted support is needed for some countries, including learning and mentoring from within the region.”
In terms of the progress on the MDGs, the 2012 Pacific Regional MDGs Tracking Report states that collectively, the region’s progress on the MDGs “is slow and uneven”.
“Papua New Guinea’s population of around 7 million people means that overall progress for the region is dependent on PNG’s progress. Consequently, as PNG is off track on all the MDGs, the region is also off track on all the goals. However, excluding PNG, the region is on track towards reducing child mortality, with mixed progress on all other goals.”
The Report stated that the Cook Islands and Niue are the only countries on track to achieve the MDGs.
With only three years remaining to the 2015 deadline, the Report stated that, “there is an urgent need for more concerted effort to accelerate progress and that the catalyst for progress is strong political leadership and resolve.”
The 2012 Pacific Regional MDGs Tracking Report focused on a detailed assessment of the region’s progress towards MDG 1 – Eliminate extreme poverty and hunger. The Report stated that in the Pacific, poverty is viewed from the perspective of hardship and lack of opportunity, in other words, “poverty of opportunity”.
According to the Report, combating poverty in the Pacific is constrained by generally low economic growth, lack of job opportunities and rising prices.
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