National Consultations on Regionalism Framework Concluded

Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet - Solomon Islands:

Thursday, 22 May 2014

A two-day National Consultation on a new Framework for Regionalism in the pacific has been concluded in Honiara today.

The consultations which gathered representatives from the Government, private sector and NGOs over a two-days period was aimed at gathering inputs from Solomon Islanders to contribute towards the form and content of a new Framework for Regionalism.

The new regionalism framework is hoped to replace the current Pacific Plan which Forum Leaders have endorsed back in 2005.

This national consultation is an undertaking of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade following the outcome of the Special Pacific islands Forum leaders Summit in Rarotonga, Cook Islands on 5th May.

The key issue pre-occupying the regional agenda at the leaders’ summit is the Pacific Plan Review.

The Pacific Plan was drawn up in 2005 at the behest of Pacific Islands Forum Leaders. With a shared vision and objective of the Leaders, the Pacific Plan in essence was to strengthen regional co-operation and to enhance regional integration and development.

Five years on from 2005, there was a feeling in the region that the plan has fallen short of its expectations because of inappropriate forms and content, and the apparent lack of interest among the Plan’s many stakeholders.

Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs Beraki Jino said at the opening yesterday that the Plan has broad purposes and attempts to give it focus were unsuccessful since it only exists at the Secretariat level, but not at country or national level.

“As a stakeholder in this new Framework for Regionalism, Solomon Islands would also like to take ownership of the framework, something that was missing in the Pacific Plan where stakeholders feel they do not own the Plan,” Mr Jino said.

A team from the Pacific islands Forum Secretariat is scheduled to visit Honiara and will conduct a one day consultation on 30th May.

Read story: Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet - Solomon Islands

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