Opening Remarks by Director Policy, Paki Ormsby, to Launch the Pacific Regional Education Framework

Paki Ormsby speaking at PacREF Launch

Paki Ormsby speaking at PacREF Launch

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat

WEDNESDAY 31 OCTOBER 2018

 

Hon Ministers of Education

Members of the Diplomatic Corp

Invited Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

On behalf of the Secretary General of the Forum Secretariat, Dame Meg Taylor, I once again extend to you all a very warm welcome to the hills of Nasonini, the home of the Forum Secretariat headquarters in Suva.

Unfortunately the Secretary General is unable to be here in person this evening however, she sends her best wishes to this event.

This evening marks a transitional period in the Secretariat’s engagement in the education sector in the region upon the adoption of a new regional education framework, the Pacific Regional Education Framework: 2018 – 2030 (PacREF: 2018 – 2030) by Forum Education Ministers at their recent meeting in Nauru.

The new regional education framework outlined a transformative and sustainable regional education agenda aligned well with global agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly SDG4, the education goal and Education 2030: Incheon Declaration on Education for All Framework for Action.

The Forum Leaders’ Pacific Vision promotes peace, harmony, security, social inclusion, and prosperity where all Pacific people can lead free and healthy lives. The Framework for Pacific Regionalism represents the Forum Leaders ongoing political commitment to work together as one region in order to achieve this vision.

In 2017, Forum Leaders endorsed The Blue Pacific Narrative as the core driver of collective action for advancing the Leaders’ Pacific Vision. This narrative reaffirms our shared ownership of the Pacific Ocean and the connection of all Pacific peoples with their natural resources, environment and livelihoods, and aims to harness their shared ocean identity, geography and resources to drive positive socio-cultural, political and economic development.

The PacREF’s four key policy areas of Quality and Relevance, Learning Pathways, Students Outcomes and Wellbeing and Teacher Professionalism ably supports the Forum Leaders’ Pacific Vision over the next twelve years of its implementation.

It promotes the underpinning values of human rights, gender equality and inclusion embedded in the Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration (PLGED), Pacific Platform for Action on Gender Equality and Human Rights and Pacific Framework for the Rights of Persons with Disability (PFRPD) and the Framework for Resilient Development.

The commitment by regional institutions such as The University of the South Pacific (USP) and the Educational Quality Assessment Programmme (EQAP) and by partner agencies UNESCO, UNICEF and the Australian Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) towards PacREF is commendable as it provides a sustainable and affordable mechanism to its implementation.

Country leadership by the Pacific Heads of Education Systems (PHES) through a Small Working Group (SWG) has played a key role in the development of the PacREF. I thank the PHES SWG whose members are present here tonight, for their commitment to this work which is key to country ownership of PacREF by the PHES.

I wish to acknowledge the University of the South Pacific who will be taking the lead coordination role in implementing the PacREF, and organizing future Education Ministerial meetings.

This evening the Forum Secretariat will be handing over the PacREF Policy document to its CROP colleague, The University of the South Pacific who have been tasked for coordinating its implementation. The transitioning of roles amongst the regional organisations is to ensure effective implementation of regional policies through the organisations with strong mandates for each public sector such as education.

As we begin to establish and implement the coordination and decision – making structures of the PacREF, we look forward to the commitment of the donor agencies and development partners in the resourcing of its implementation.

As I conclude this brief remarks, I once again thank you all for your presence this evening and look forward to a brighter future for our Pacific people in realising their aspirations in life through education.

 

Thank you.

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