Pre-Forum Committee and Smaller Islands Officials Gear up for Leaders Meeting

Tonga Daily News:

Tuesday, 01 July 2014

Suva-July 1: 1.30pm (Forum Secretariat): In the lead up to the 45thPacific Islands Forum and Related Meetings, the Smaller Islands States (SIS) Officials Meeting and the Forum Officials Committee (FOC) Pre-Forum session is being held from today to Thursday (July 1-3) at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s (PIFS) Headquarters in Suva, Fiji.
“In the work of the Secretariat, as I believe among the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) agencies, many efforts are being made to give priority attention to the special needs of the SIS countries,” Mr Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General of the Forum Secretariat, said. “A pressing issue for our SIS is, of course, climate change, and this will be a key agenda item for discussion this year, along with preparations for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States in Samoa in September.”
The Pre-Forum FOC convenes as the annual Governing Council meeting of the Forum Secretariat, and will recommend key agenda items for Leader’s consideration when they meet in Palau for the Pacific Islands Forum from July 29 to August 1.
“This year, the Forum Officials Committee will have a particularly full agenda, as they take on issues that have previously been overseen by the Pacific Plan Action Committee,” Mr Slade explained.
“As part of the regional reforms being welcomed following Sir Mekere Morauta’s comprehensive review of the Pacific Plan, the Pacific Plan Action Committee is being replaced by a new specialist sub-committee of the FOC, and a new Framework for Pacific Regionalism is being developed.
“The new Framework will help to streamline regional priority setting and political decision-making, and will be a key point of discussion for the region’s officials.”
Also on the agenda are regional security issues, progress of the Forum Compact on Development Coordination, updates on regional gender equality initiatives, work towards the post-2015 agenda and sustainable development goals, and Secretariat corporate reforms.
Senior government officials from Forum Member Countries, Associate Members, Observers and CROP agencies will attend the two meetings.
Mr Slade delivered the opening remarks for both meetings.
The SIS Officials meeting will be chaired by Palau while the Pre-Forum FOC will be chaired by Tonga.

Read story: Tonga Daily News
zoom out zoom in print this page