People-Centered Development

Pacific peoples draw their identity and inspiration from their cultural diversity and deep cultural and spiritual attachments to their land and the ocean.

Our ambition is for a region where all Pacific peoples continue this attachment to land and ocean and are assured safety, security, gender equality, and access to education, health, sport and other services, so that no one is left behind. 

Despite a range of initiatives in the Pacific to promote improved health and education outcomes, much more needs to be done. There is a need to address issues of exclusion and inequality of gender and marginalised groups, and protect human rights and environmental rights. 

Our Work

In 2023 at the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in the Cook Islands the revitalised Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration (PLGED) was endorsed. Other initiatives include the Pacific Regional Education Framework, and the Pacific Framework for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Forum Secretariat develops guiding documents like these for Leaders’ consideration, and once endorsed we work to deliver at the regional level. 

We work closely with the Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific (CROP) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other partners to ensure that our work benefits all Pacific people. This includes ensuring that Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) is integrated across the 2050 Strategy Implementation Plan.

We also support Member countries to strategically engage at key regional and international events, and ensure Pacific priorities, achievements, and challenges in the social sector are amplified.  

Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration

Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration

In 2022 Pacific Islands Forum Leaders, seeking a renewed commitment and accelerated action on gender equality and social inclusion, endorsed the revitalisation of the Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration. 

This work seeks to empower women and girls in economic, political, and social life, including 

  • gender-responsive government programs
  • decision-making
  • economic empowerment
  • ending violence against women, and 
  • health and education.

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Other work areas

The Forum seeks to encourage investment and action for better health and education outcomes for young children in the Pacific, as well as consideration of their place and voice in regional initiatives. The Forum supports and works with regional partners to progress education and health outcomes through the respective regional policy frameworks including the 2017 Pasifika Call to Action on Early Childhood Development, the Pacific Regional Education Framework (PacREF).  

The Forum provides regional support and coordination for cultural policy development including the implementation of the 2050 Strategy Implementation Plan culture regional collective actions.

There are two key documents guiding the regional response to issues relating to disability, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Pacific Framework for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The Pacific Framework for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities  was endorsed by Forum Leaders in 2016. It supports Pacific governments to promote, protect and fulfil the rights of persons with disabilities as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with. It also provides a regional modality to strengthen coordination and collaboration in support of national initiatives.

The Framework has five broad goals:

  1. Livelihoods – promote opportunities through inclusive economic development and decent work.
  2. Mainstreaming – ensure the rights of persons with disabilities are included in development strategies, national and local policies and community services.
  3. Leadership and Enabling Environment – Develop leadership and an enabling environment for rights-based disability inclusive development.
  4. Disaster Risk Management – Include persons with a disability in climate change adaptation measures and disaster risk management plans and policies.
  5. Evidence – Strengthen disability research statistics and analysis.