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Forum Secretariat Forms New Subcommittee On Regionalism

Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center:

Wednesday, 15 April 2015


Call for idea on ‘focus of the Forum in the region’ to go out soon.

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, April 15, 2015) – The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) has formed a new subcommittee to look after the framework for Pacific regionalism.

The framework is a strategy for strengthening co-operation and integration in the Pacific region.

PIFS secretary-general Dame Meg Taylor said the special subcommittee was also a subcommittee of the forum officials committee.

Ms Taylor said the framework was the outcome of the review of the Pacific Plan, which contained what the leaders of the Pacific would define as the key regional issues.

"What I wanted to reiterate for you is the most important aspect of the new process now underway at the forum, is that we're implementing the decision of the leaders from the Cook Islands last year and that is there must be a shift on the development paradigm," Ms Taylor said.

She said this meant that Pacific leaders must take the responsibility for those issues that were key political and economic issues in the region.

"And how do we get to the leaders making that decision? It's the work that this committee will do.

"They will take proposals that people in the region will write to them and then from those proposals, there will be a selection against criterias outlined.

"And that will help the committee to look at what issues people raised, what is the regional threat that goes through all these issues that we'll put to them and they will make a selection."

She said the subcommittee would call for proposals from the region on April 27 where they would also give seven weeks for proposals to be sent in on what people thought should be the focus of the Forum in the region.

"These issues could be around visible issues like accessibility where all of us could travel around the region, it could be around fisheries, it could be around connectivity, particularly around telecommunications, transport, linkages within our island region.

"So it's a real shift in the way the forums worked and I'm very pleased as SG to be here to help drive this to civil societies, including private sectors and ensure that the process is open, transparent and a private one."

Read the story: Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

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