Leaders overhaul Framework for Pacific Regionalism

Matangi Tonga Online:

Monday, 26 May 2014

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
A one-day Consultation Meeting over a draft Framework for Pacific Regionalism was held in Nuku’alofa on Tuesday 20 May.

Similar meetings are being held in all 15 member countries of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) from 21 May to 9 June.

The Nuku’alofa meeting was divided into three one-hour sessions. The first session was for Chief Executive Officers of Government Ministries, the second session was for representatives from NGOs, media organizations and the Private Sector, and the final session was for members of parliament.

The Deputy Secretary General of the PIF Secretariat Cristelle Pratt and Alfred Schuster, a Development Cooperation Adviser conducted the Nuku’alofa consultation meeting for PIF stakeholders.

Cristelle explained that during a Special Retreat meeting by Forum Leaders on 5 May in the Cook Islands they had agreed that the Pacific Plan should be overhauled.

The Pacific Plan for strengthening regional cooperation and integration was endorsed by Pacific Leaders at a PIF meeting on October 2005. The Plan is considered to be “a living document ensuring flexibility so that the Vision of the Leaders and the goal of regional integration extends far into the future.”

During the one-hour session with the media, private sector and the NGOs representatives, some of the issues that were highlighted in the consultation included:

The Leaders’ Pacific Vision
The Pacific regional values – to be reflected and upheld in all policy making
Strategic Direction
Path to deeper Integration.
The Leaders’ Pacific Vision states that “Leaders believe the Pacific region can, should and will be a region of peace, harmony, security and economic prosperity, so that all of its people can lead free and worthwhile lives.”

“We treasure the diversity of the Pacific and seek a future in which its cultures, traditions and religious beliefs are valued, honoured and developed.”

“We seek a Pacific region that is respected for the quality of its governance, the sustainable management of its resources, the full observance of democratic values and for its defence and promotion of human rights.”

“We seek partnerships with our neighbours and beyond to develop our knowledge, to improve our communications and to ensure a sustainable economic existence for all.”

At the end of the current consultations a draft Framework for Pacific Regionalism will be presented to Pacific Leaders at their annual Forum meeting in Palau, during the last week of July. 

Read story: Matangi Tonga Online

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