Pacific voice in Japan development talks

Update: 8:05PM THE Third Ministerial Interim Meeting (MIM3) of the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM) process attended by 16 Forum members will be held tomorrow, January 17, in Tokyo, Japan.

The meeting, hosted by the Government of Japan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida, will review the outcomes and implementation progress of PALM 7 in 2015, and begin discussions on PALM 8 in 2018.

A statement from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat stated that for Pacific Islands Forum-member countries, the meetings allowed candid discussions around development issues and the unique vulnerabilities island nations experienced in relation to sustainable development.

"As Forum Chair, and in the spirit of the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, I am particularly looking forward to discussing the Pacific's relations with Japan in the areas of climate change and ocean management," secretary of the Federated States of Micronesia Department of Foreign Affairs Lorin S Robert was quoted saying in the statement.  

"Key opportunities lie ahead for the Pacific to advance the priorities of our people at the upcoming High-Level UN Conference to implement SDG 14 on Oceans (co-hosted by Fiji); and to work with partners like Japan to implement the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific."

The statement noted Pacific island nations also seeking Japan's support through the World Bank for an expansion of the definition of "fragility" in the context of sustainable development to include vulnerability to climate change and economic, equity, access, geographical and environmental challenges.

The triennial PALM was initiated by Japan in 1997 to strengthen relations with Forum island countries and work jointly towards the development of the Pacific region.

The long-established Pacific Island Forum-Japan partnership - underpinned by historical, trade and diplomatic links - the Forum stated reflected a shared commitment to build economic resilience for Forum island countries through addressing the impact of climate change, sustainable environment development and disaster risk reduction.

"The Pacific appreciates Japan's commitment to the Pacific Islands Centre to promote trade relations and tourism and encourages this to continue to grow," it stated.

Japan has been a post-Forum Dialogue partner since 1989.

Since PALM 7 in May 2015, political commitments have facilitated Japan's successful candidacy bid for a 2017-2017 non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council and the global observance of World Tsunami Day (November 5), which began last year.

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