Papeete, French Polynesia (March 20, 2018) – Region-wide policy consultations across Pacific Islands Forum members to ensure an inclusive approach to addressing common issues reaches one of its newest members this week, French Polynesia.
The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat has been conducting regional policy consultations in the last few months to gather the views of Government officials, civil society and private sector representatives, and members of the public to form a deeper understanding of the issues common to its membership.
“The Forum Secretariat team is privileged to be here in French Polynesia for these consultations,” Shiu Raj, the Forum Secretariat Director Programme and Initiatives, said. “The Blue Pacific encapsulates our collective identity, our home and resources: we know that we can do better and do more if we approach our common development issues collectively. These consultations are an important channel through which the Forum Secretariat can work closely with Pacific people to work on solutions that reflect the needs of the people across the region.”
Alongside the regional policy consultations, the Forum Secretariat team will also convene a Private Sector Dialogue Workshop on Thursday (March 22), in preparation for the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting which takes place in Palau from the 25th till the 27th April.
Consultations with relevant government officials who are involved in the work on Pacific regionalism and Forum Leaders priorities will be held on Friday (March 23), with a dedicated session with the broader group of stakeholders, including the private sector.
The consultations will be held back-to-back with the Pacific Business Days meeting, organized by the South Pacific Employers Organisation based in French Polynesia, and focused around issues of transportation, tourism and connectivity.
The information received through the regional policy consultations will inform the Forum Leaders Meeting later this year (2018) in Nauru. The consultations have covered a range of regional priorities that Forum Leaders have asked the Secretariat to work on including the proposed Biketawa Plus security declaration, a Forum Foreign Policy, Labour Mobility, Business Harmonisation & Mobility, and strengthening Pacific resilience to climate change and disaster.
Mr Raj is supported by his Forum Secretariat colleagues, Ms Glynis Miller – Private sector expert; Mr Fredrick Kamusiime, Trade Policy Adviser; and Mr Teremoana Mato, Export services specialist from the Pacific Islands Trade and Invest network.