Friday, August 20, 2010

"We Care!" The Importance of Great Team Effort within The Pacific Basin/Australasia

Reflections:
Below is a powerful statement by Regional Pacific Leaders at their recent PIF Forum held in Vanuatu and notably absent is Fiji. Why?
As we all know, because the current illegal regime wants to kick its heels and do things their own ways. First up it appears it is doing good for its people & the Nation Fiji. In essence it has done more damage than good. All one has to do is take a look at the political, social, cultural & economic damages & losses the Nation has suffered todate. The indices of poverty for Fiji has shifted so dramatically that it is down at the lower end of the scale as compared to those Pacific Islands that are now being propped up by both New Zealand & Australia. Richer Nations including our immediate neighbors, Australia & New Zealand are holding back their chequebooks. Their borders have tighter controls particularly for those originating from Fiji and worse still if one has connections to the current illegal regime. Do we ever wonder why? Again, as the saying goes, 'you can come & play in my backyard when I ask you to!' Both the Aussies & Kiwis can afford to say this, as at the very least they are right up there with the big players when it comes to $$$, political, economical & cultural perspective & their poverty indices ratings can not be equated to that of Fiji.

As Fiji citizens living offshore we are told Fiji business is none of ours. Yeah right!! Its as much as our business than yours FB & KAS. Both FB & KAS have now earned themselves new Fijian nicknames i.e 'Cagina & Cadruti'. [to borrow the term from Fiji Times]. The domino effect is being felt by those of us living in Aotearoa as we can feel the back lash of every bad decision that both 'Cagina & Cadruti" are making back in Fiji. One only has to mention to that you are from Fiji or your group has a Fiji name to it and you are given the side-glances or you are made to feel that your group needs are not a priority as Polynesians within the Pacific are given first choices as theres Colonial link with them more than Fiji. To be honest thats the part that hurts when preferential treatment is being given based on whether you are from Fiji or not within the Pacific context.

It is no longer Chinese whispers but 'oilei' Pacific whispers hard at play. The price we have to pay for the love of our homeland Fiji. These are facts of what we as Fiji people living abroad have to face up to all because of the arrogance being displayed by 'Cagina & Cadruti'.
Bera na Liva.

Read "Forum Communique"
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Forty-First Pacific Islands Forum

Port Vila,

Vanuatu

4 - 5 August 2010
Forum Communiqué
The Forty-first Pacific Islands Forum was held in Port Vila, Vanuatu, from 4 to 5 August 2010and was attended by Heads of State and Governments of the Cook Islands, Federated States ofMicronesia, the Republic of Kiribati, the Republic of Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, the Republicof Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga and the Republic of Vanuatu.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade represented Australia and the Minister for Planningand District Development represented Papua New Guinea. Solomon Islands and Tuvalu wererepresented by Special Envoys. New Caledonia and French Polynesia attended the formalsession as Associate Members. Timor-Leste, Tokelau, Wallis and Futuna, the AsianDevelopment Bank, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations attended asObservers. Forum meetings were convened at the Le Lagon Resort in Port Vila and the ForumRetreat was held at the Havannah Resort, Samoa Point.

2. Leaders expressed their deep gratitude to the Prime Minister, the Government and peopleof the Republic of Vanuatu for the excellent arrangements made in hosting the 2010 Leaders’meeting, and for the kind hospitality extended to them during their stay in Port Vila. Leadersacknowledged that the meeting was convened following the celebration of Vanuatu’s 30thanniversary of independence and congratulated Vanuatu of this significant landmark in itsstatehood. Leaders also expressed their sincere appreciation to the traditional leaders and peopleof Port Vila for the warm reception received and goodwill extended during their participation inthe 2010 Forum meeting.

CONDOLENCE

3. Leaders expressed their condolences to the Government and people of New Zealand forthe sad loss of a New Zealand soldier in Afghanistan on 4 August. In doing so, Leaders alsorecalled the many other losses of life from the Pacific region in Afghanistan and other conflicts.

MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS

4. Leaders welcomed and endorsed the Port Vila Declaration on Accelerating Progress on theAchievement of the Millennium Development Goals which is attached as Annex 1. Leaderswelcomed the presentation by the Forum Chair, Vanuatu on the outcomes of the Pacific HighLevel Dialogue on the Five Year Review of the Mauritius Strategy of the furtherImplementation of the Barbados Plan of Action and the Pacific Conference on the Human Faceof the Global Economic Crisis.

CLIMATE CHANGE

5. Climate change remains the greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and well-being of thepeoples of the Pacific. The degree of urgency for real commitments to emissions reductionmust be commensurate with the science and associated impacts of Climate Change on the mostvulnerable communities. It cannot be viewed in the short term impacts to traditional industrialgrowth or political tenure, but in the longer term sustainability of economies, societies andpeoples the world over. A meaningful legally binding agreement on emissions reduction mustbe reached urgently and without delay.

6. Leaders agreed that negotiations must be maintained at the highest level in the lead up toCOP 16 in Cancun and should be approached in a manner that facilitates an understanding ofdifferent positions of various countries and not lamenting these differences.

7. Continuing and concerted efforts by Forum members are being made at national, regionaland international levels to address the impacts of climate change on Pacific communities andpeoples.

8. National efforts are focusing on the mainstreaming of climate change into national plansand systems as well as developing appropriate adaption strategies. At the regional level, a midtermreview of the Pacific Islands Framework for Action on Climate Change (2005) and itsaccompanying action plan is underway to ensure that national and regional climate changeinitiatives remain relevant and coherent.

9. In anticipation of significantly increased flows of resources to come to the region as aresult of the commitments made at COP 15, an emphasis has been placed on the need forstrengthened country-led systems for the coordination of these resources with, whereappropriate, support from their regional organisations and development partners.

10. To enable Forum Island Countries to realise the full benefit of rapidly scaled-upinternational financing commitments to support implementation of climate change adaptationand mitigation efforts, help build the resilience of vulnerable countries, particularly the SIS, andenhance the transparency of funding flows based on identified national and regional priorities.

11. Leaders recognised the importance of effective coordination and implementation ofclimate change adaptation and mitigation efforts at all levels, and particularly at the nationallevel.Principles to promote more effective coordination and implementation of climate changeadaptation and mitigation actions

12. Leaders endorsed the following principles to guide Forum Island Countries anddevelopment partners in implementing climate change adaptation and mitigation measuresbearing in mind existing and ongoing efforts in the region:Sufficient and sustainable resources, based on existing and predicted impacts, should bemobilised and made available as a matter of priority;These resources should be timely, easily accessible, and commensurate with administrative andabsorptive capacities of Pacific Island Countries and their systems;climate change adaptation and mitigation should be integrated into broader nationaldevelopment efforts;adaptation and mitigation measures should be country-led and supported, in a coordinated wayby development partners; andas far as practicable, support for these measures should be provided through Forum IslandCountry systems and processes including where appropriate, regional systems.

13. Leaders noted that these principles are consistent with the Cairns Compact and the PacicfiIslands Framework for Action on Climate Change, and take into account negotiations currentlyunderway in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Leadersrecognised the important role regional and international measures play in supporting nationaladaptation and mitigation by enhancing capacity and access to resources.

14. Leaders recognised the importance of both concrete measures to address immediateadaptation needs, and improved climate change science and understanding adaptive capacity, tounderpin effective adaptation planning.15. Leaders tasked Forum Economic and Environment Ministers and Executives of CROPAgencies to advise on options to improve access to, and management of, climate changeresources. Leaders also tasked the Forum Secretariat to work with relevant organisations todevelop mechanisms to assist countries access the different international financing for climatechange.

16. Leaders agreed that regional coordination of climate change financing under the CairnsCompact will be critical to the effectiveness of aid delivery and utilisation and agreed to boostthe capacity of the Forum Secretariat to perform this function.

17. Leaders welcomed the initiative of Kiribati in its hosting of the Tarawa Climate ChangeConference in November 2010 which will bring together countries vulnerable to impact ofclimate change and major economies ahead of the Cancun climate change meetings inNovember-December 2010.

18. Leaders welcomed the budgetary allocation by the Australian Government for climatechange mitigation and adaptation which are planned for disbursement in 2010/2013.

PACIFIC ENVIRONMENT COMMUNITY FUND

19. Leaders acknowledged with appreciation the 6.8 billion yen (USD66 million) Pacifi cEnvironment Community Fund (PEC Fund) provided to the Forum Island Countries by theGovernment of Japan, pursuant to the PALM 5 Islanders Hokkaido Declaration of May 2009,for solar power generation and sea water desalination projects. Leaders also noted that Japanand the Secretariat have adopted guidelines and procedures for the use of the PEC Fund whichis now available for submissions of projects by FICs.

CAIRNS COMPACT ON STRENGTHENING DEVELOPMENT COORDINATIONIN THE PACIFIC

20. Leaders commended the efforts of the Forum Secretariat in implementing the CairnsCompact and noted that the three reports presented – the Road Map on Strengthening PublicFinancial Management; the Pacific Regional Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)Tracking Report; and Tracking the Effectiveness of Development Efforts - provided, for thefirst time, a baseline on efforts to strengthen development coordination in the region.

21. Leaders reaffirmed the urgent and ongoing need for the effective and coordinatedimplementation of policy measures and practical responses aimed at supporting Pacific islandcountries’ development efforts in alleviating adverse effects of the global financial andeconomic crises, with the objective of building sustained economic resilience in the Pacific.

22. In considering the report on the Roadmap on Strengthening Public FinancialManagement, Leaders highlighted the linkages between public financial management andstrengthened development cooperation. Leaders endorsed the directions of the Roadmap andtasked the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting to ensure early implementation of its keyfindings and to report back to Leaders’ at their next meeting on achievements made.

23. Leaders noted the report on Tracking the Effectiveness of Development Efforts in thePacific report highlighted some good examples where PIC leadership in developmentcoordination is having positive impact. Leaders recognised the opportunity to build on theseexperiences to achieve accelerated development outcomes in the face of the significantchallenges confronting the region. Leaders endorsed the PPAC recommendation that membersidentify steps for the strengthening of development coordination over the next 12-18 months,and that support be made available to assist them with implementation, acknowledging that ongoingleadership at the highest level was critical to success.

24. Leaders welcomed advice from Nauru and Kiribati that the peer review process had beenvaluable, and acknowledged those members and development partners who had volunteered toparticipate. Leaders recognised that the peer reviews were conducted in a neighbourly andconstructive spirit, consistent with the Pacific way, and represent an innovative approach tolearning from each other and reaffirmed that the peer review process remained a key advanceachieved under the Cairns Compact.

25. Leaders acknowledged the first year of implementation had shown the need tostreamline reporting processes and integrate them into existing reporting arrangements, and thatcountries needed to refine what approaches would be most appropriate given their nationalcircumstances. Leaders noted the need for on-going support to the Forum Secretariat toeffectively coordinate implementation of the Cairns Compact.

26. Leaders tasked the Forum Secretariat, relevant CROP agencies and development partnersto facilitate the development of practical next steps, in establishing appropriate time-bound andoptimal processes suited to national circumstances, making use of findings from the PeerReview and reporting processes under the Compact.

27. Leaders strongly encouraged Forum members, regional organisations and developmentpartners to intensify efforts in support of the ongoing effective implementation of the CairnsCompact.

PACIFIC PLAN

28. Leaders noted the Pacific Plan Annual Progress Report 2010 on implementing thepriorities endorsed by them at the Cairns Forum in August 2009 and welcomed a number ofkey achievements, including:strengthened regional approaches to fisheries conservation and management through thecollaborative work of FFA and SPC and more recently through the efforts of the Parties to theNauru Agreement (PNA);a sub-regional shipping feeder service for the Smaller Island States of the central Pacific hasbecome operational;enhanced efforts to strengthen development cooperation and coordination by implementing keyprinciples of aid effectiveness, including under the Cairns Compact on StrengtheningDevelopment Coordination in the Pacific (Cairns Compact);Regional cooperation in the areas of audit and ombudsman services has been strengthened;Steady progress on trade negotiations; andDevelopment of frameworks for action on food security, energy security, and InformationCommunication Technology (ICT).

29. Leaders reaffirmed the Pacific Plan priorities for 2010-2013 and noted that the CROPExecutives had highlighted five key issues for their attention of Leaders in response to majortrends, or to unexpected events in the region. These were to: finalise the delineation ofpermanent maritime boundaries; sustainably increase the coverage of safe drinking water andbasic sanitation services; focus education efforts on increasing literacy and numeracy rates inselected Pacific Island countries; expand the definition of disaster risk management beyond thatposed by climate change to be people focused, covering responses to health disasters as well asfactoring in population growth and movement; recognise that the lack of technical andmanagerial capacity in the power utilities area is a serious concern. Leaders noted that whilethese issues were covered by the current priorities, extra effort was required to achieve resultsin these areas. Leaders also highlighted the ongoing need for effective and coordinated bilateraland regional cooperation to address maritime safety issues.

FISHERIES

30. Leaders noted that fisheries resources of the Pacific represent a major source of food andincome for Pacific Islands Countries (PICs) and for many Pacific people is the main prospectfor sustainable economic development. The maximisation of return from these resources andtheir sustainable conservation and management is therefore fundamental to the long-term socioeconomicwellbeing and stability of the region, as is the protection of those resources. Leaderswelcomed the presentation from the Directors-General of the Secretariat of the PacificCommunity and Forum Fisheries Agency of the summary report of “The future of PacificIsland fisheries” and reaffirmed the importance of managing this resource sustainably andresponsibly to the optimum benefit of the peoples of the Pacific.

31. Leaders recalled the 2007 Vava’u Declaration on fisheries matters, particularlyhighlighting their call for strengthened mechanisms to protect regional fisheries via newmultilateral Pacific regional arrangements for exchange of fisheries law enforcement data,cross-vesting of enforcement powers and the use of fisheries data for other law enforcementactivities. Leaders welcomed the initiative of Australia in hosting the joint Pacific Fisheries andLaw Enforcement Justice Ministers’ Meeting in Canberra on 12 and 13 July 2010. Leadersendorsed recommendations by Fisheries Ministers to negotiate a region-wide Niue TreatySubsidiary Agreement and instructed officials to proceed expeditiously with the negotiationprocess to conclude no later than the end of 2012.

32. Leaders endorsed the Regional Monitoring Control and Surveillance Strategy as theoverarching framework to support the fisheries management objectives of FFA members andto guide FFA members in complementing and strengthening existing MCS arrangements.

33. Leaders welcomed the generous offer of NZ$4.8m for training of Pacific fisheriesobservers by the New Zealand Government.

34. Leaders agreed and endorsed the implementation of the Regional Economic Integration inPacific tuna fisheries programme as a tool to assist FFA members gain additional economicreturns from their fisheries resources.

35. Leaders noted the work undertaken by FFA, SPC, and PNA on fisheries. Leaders taskedthe relevant regional organisations to explore options for optimizing fisheries commercializationto increase fisheries revenue beyond licensing fees. Leaders further tasked these regionalorganizations to prepare and submit through the Forum Secretariat a report on fisheriescommercialization for further consideration by the FEMM 2010.

36. Leaders encouraged the formation of new regional partnerships between Forum memberson commercial fisheries enterprises, especially in processing activities under a new Forumprocess on fisheries commercialization to be developed by FFA and SPC.

PACIFIC AVIATION SAFETY OFFICE

37. Leaders expressed concern at the serious funding challenges currently facing the Pacifi cAviation Safety Office (PASO) and noted the critical importance of effective oversight toensuring that the region’s aviation services meet international safety and security standards.Leaders reminded PASO members of the importance of providing timely and sustainablefunding to ensure that PASO is able to meet its objectives.

SPORT

38. Leaders noted regional efforts by the Oceania Football Confederation to promote health,education, citizenship and social integration among the youth of the region. Leaders agreed totask the Forum Secretariat and SPC to work with OFC to develop an appropriate frameworkthat incorporates this initiative into current regional activities and to report back to Leaders.

39. Leaders noted the outcomes of the regional Meeting of Ministers for Youth and Sport inAuckland from 15-20 March 2010.

SUPPORTING PACIFIC PEOPLES WITH DISABILITIES

40. Leaders endorsed the report on the Forum Disability Ministers meeting held in CookIslands in October 2009 promoting an inclusive, barrier-free, and rights-based society forpeople with disabilities, which embraces the diversity of all Pacific people. Leaders supportedits objectives to improve the lives and status of persons with disabilities in the Pacific regionand affirmed the need for disability inclusive development in all government programs inForum Island countries to address the needs of persons with disabilities – accepting suchpeople are among the poorest and most vulnerable and face many barriers to full participation insociety.

41. Leaders reaffirmed their strong support for the Pacific Regional Strategy on Disabilityendorsed at the Forum Disability Ministers: to support Pacific Island Forum member countriesto protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities; to provide a framework for thecoordination of development partners, governments and civil society in building a disabilityinclusive Pacific; and strengthen commitment of all stakeholders towards implementation of theConvention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other human rights instrumentsrelating to disability.

42. Leaders recognised that the Pacific Regional Strategy on Disability: reflects the reality andneeds of the Pacific and its unique social, economic and geographic context; represents acommon agreement on how to proceed and a means for sharing experiences and practices.Leaders agreed the Strategy provides effective guidance to Forum members in advancing theirwork on disability issues and allows the Forum Secretariat and other regional organisations,development partners and civil society a platform for engaging with governments on disabilityinclusivedevelopment and progress at the national and regional levels.

TRADE

43. Leaders welcomed progress made on PACER Plus negotiations. Leaders recognised theurgent need for extension of assistance under Aid for Trade to assist building the capacities ofForum Island Countries.

44. In considering the outcomes of the Forum Trade Ministers’ Meeting on 29 April 2010 inPohnpei, Leaders noted the proposed development of a shared 10 year strategy for PacificIslands Trade and Invest, to be considered by Trade Ministers in 2011. Leaders alsoencouraged countries to fulfil their commitment to providing funding to the WTO GenevaOffice. Leaders further urged those countries still to announce readiness to trade under PICTAto do so with urgency.

45. Leaders agreed to refer the issue of participation of Fiji in the PACER Plus process to theMinisterial Contact Group (MCG) for further consideration. Leaders further agreed for theMCG, now under the chairmanship of Vanuatu as Forum Chair, to consider possiblemodalities for engaging Fiji in PACER Plus negotiations and to circulate their findings toLeaders for consideration before the next Forum.

RENEWABLE ENERGY

46. Leaders endorsed the Framework for Action on Energy Security in the Pacific andreaffirmed their commitment to renewable energy and energy efficient future based onachievable and practical and voluntary targets. Leaders noted the available funding windowson renewable energy for SIS and their limited capacity to develop renewable energy proposalsand manage large funded projects.

LABOUR MOBILITY

47. Leaders noted ongoing developments on labour mobility in the region as well as paralleldevelopments on Temporary Movement of Natural Persons-related activities and the labourmobility objectives of Smaller Island States under the auspices of PACER Plus, PICTA, EPAand other trade negotiations.

REGIONAL INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK

48. Leaders welcomed the signing at their Plenary Session on 4 August 2010 of the Letter ofAgreement between SPC and SOPAC relating to the final transfer of the core functions.Leaders acknowledged the importance of ensuring adequate resources for SOPAC’s functionsbeyond the RIF to ensure that the overall level of service is not diminished.

REGIONAL PARTNERSHIP MECHANISMS

49. Leaders noted the update on the decisions taken by the 2009 Pre-Forum FOC in relationto partnership mechanisms with the Forum, including the Post Forum Dialogue and, reflectingon the update provided to the 2010 Pre-Forum FOC, agreed to establish a review process toreassess the status of PFD partners, including options for cost recovery, directing that thisreview report back to the 2011 FOC.
FIJI

50. Leaders noted the report of the Chair of the Ministerial Contact Group (MCG) on Fiji and commended the continuing efforts to encourage and support Fiji’s early return to parliamentary democracy in accordance with the Leaders’ mandates and the Biketawa Declaration, cognisantof the Leaders’ decisions at Port Moresby and Cairns in 2009.

51. Leaders welcomed the convening of the Ministerial Contact Group (MCG) meeting heldin Auckland, New Zealand, on 31 May 2010 and, mindful of the position of the Fiji Government as presented by Fiji’s Interim Foreign Minister at that meeting, expressed and registered their continuing deep concern at the serious political and economic challenges facingFiji.

52. Reflecting on the report of the Chair of the MCG, Leaders noted that there remained a clear commitment from all Forum members to continue to offer Fiji their assistance in addressing the challenges faced by Fiji, and to encourage full restoration of parliamentary democracy.

53. Leaders called again for commencement of political dialogue in Fiji between parties on the principles of genuine, inclusive dialogue without preconditions or pre-determined outcomes.Leaders also reaffirmed the importance of continued strong solidarity for the region’s position on Fiji from the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the EU and across the international community.

54. Leaders expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister of Tonga for his chairmanship of and contribution to the work of the MCG and welcomed the Prime Minister of Vanuatu as the new Chair of the MCG Chair.
REGIONAL ASSISTANCE MISSION TO SOLOMON ISLANDS (RAMSI)

55. Leaders noted the activities carried out under the Biketawa Declaration in relation toSolomon Islands and highly commended the strong leadership and commitment of theSolomon Islands Government and RAMSI in working together to ensure lasting benefits forthe people of Solomon Islands. Leaders welcomed the significant joint achievements andprogress made in implementing the Leaders’ decisions taken at the 2009 Forum regardingRAMSI, in particular the SIG-RAMSI Partnership Framework. Leaders also welcomed theoutcomes of the Parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee’s (PFRC) Inquiry into theFacilitation of International Assistance Act 2003.

56. Leaders endorsed the recommendation of the Forum Ministerial Standing Committee(FMSC) that future meetings of the FMSC be held once a year, preferably in April/May, andmore often only if developments require.

57. Leaders also commended the initiative of RAMSI to stage a photographic exhibitionduring their meeting in Port Vila to mark the 10th Anniversary of the Biketawa Declaration.

58. Leaders noted with appreciation the expression of deep gratitude of the people andGovernment Solomon Islands to all Forum members, especially Australia, and the SecretaryGeneral of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat for their continued assistance under RAMSI.PACIFIC REGIONAL ASSISTANCE TO NAURU (PRAN)

59. Leaders welcomed the successful transition of assistance formerly provided under thePRAN to other forms of bilateral, regional and multilateral support to Nauru following theirdecision in Cairns in 2009, at Nauru’s request, to bring the PRAN activity to an end. Leadersalso welcomed the expression of gratitude by the Government and people of Nauru and agreedthat PRAN will no longer be included in the agenda of future Forum meetings.

TRANSNATIONAL CRIME

60. Leaders recognised that transnational crime remains a threat to national and regionalstability and requires effective national law enforcement agencies, continuing regionalcooperation and pledged high level political commitment to combat this threat. Leaderscommended the work of the Forum Regional Security Committee (FRSC) in advancingregional cooperation in addressing these challenges and highlighted the valuable work beingcarried out by national and regional law enforcement agencies and other relevant bodies activein the region.

SMALL ARMS AND LIGHT WEAPONS (SALW)

61. Leaders reaffirmed that the availability and proliferation of SALW remained a seriousthreat to peace and stability in the Pacific region. Leaders welcomed endorsement by the FRSCof the Regional Implementation Guidelines for the UN Programme of Action, which is aimedat assisting Forum members to meet the requirements of the primary international instrumentsrelating to the control of SALW. Leaders also welcomed other steps being taken at regionaland national levels to directly address the threat posed by SALW.

SEXUAL AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE (SGBV)

62. Leaders commended actions in the region, particularly by national governments, to takeforward their direction at Cairns in 2009 to address SGBV and acknowledged the initiative ofthe FRSC to recommend the establishment of a Reference Group on SGBV to assist the ForumSecretariat and support national efforts.

INTERNATIONAL DISARMAMENT ISSUES

63. Leaders welcomed the successful outcome of the 2010 Nuclear non-Proliferation TreatyReview Conference, including the announcement by the United States of its intention to ratifyall Protocols to the Treaty of Rarotonga.

64. Leaders encouraged all states to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty (CTBT) as a practical step toward nuclear disarmament and note the practical value andpotential of the CTBT verification system, including for earthquake and tsunami warningnetworks in the Pacific.

RADIOACTIVE CONTAMINANTS IN THE REPUBLIC OF THE MARSHALLISLANDS

65. Leaders recognised the special circumstances pertaining to the continued presence ofradioactive contaminants in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and reaffirmed the existence ofa special responsibility by the United States of America towards the people of the MarshallIslands, who have been, and continue to be, adversely affected as a direct result of nuclearweapons tests conducted by the U.S. during its administration of the Marshall Islands underthe United Nations Trusteeship mandate.

66. Leaders reiterated their call on the United States of America to live up to its fullobligations on the provision of adequate compensation and commitment to its responsibility forthe safe resettlement of displaced populations, including the full and final restoration toeconomic productivity of all affected areas. Leaders undertook to consider submitting a letter tothe U.S. Government urging the U.S. to take action in the aftermath of the Congressionalhearings that established the lingering needs resulting from the U.S. Nuclear Testing Program.

67. Leaders encouraged Forum Members to lend support to the Marshall Islands on thisissue at the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Security Council, and otherinternational fora.

PACIFIC OCEANSCAPE

68. Leaders reiterated the critical importance of ensuring the sustainable development,management and conservation of our ocean. Leaders endorsed the draft Framework for aPacific Oceanscape and acknowledged with thanks the efforts of the Marine Sector WorkingGroup and partners in developing this framework. Leaders strongly encouraged continuedForum leadership and regional cooperation and tasked CROP agencies to implement theFramework in partnership with other relevant organisations.
COUNTRY INITIATIVES

69. Leaders acknowledged the launch of the Green Energy Micronesia (GEM) Initiative bythe Governments of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesiaand the Republic of Palau during the 41st Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ meeting andrequested CROP agencies to provide necessary support for its implementation, taking intoaccount the Framework for Action on Energy Security in the Pacific.

70. Leaders considered the proposal from the Republic of Palau for the Taiwan/ROC ForumCountries Dialogue with its partners to be part of the Post-Forum Dialogue and agreed to retainthe status quo as established in the 1992 and 1999 Forum Communiqués.

71. Leaders noted with appreciation the interest expressed by the President of theGovernment of New Caledonia in eventual full membership of the Forum. Recognising that anumber of issues relating to New Caledonia’s international standing would be resolved as itadvanced with France the self-determination process under the Noumea Accord, Leadersrequested the Forum Secretariat to explore further with New Caledonia ways in which itsengagement and role within the Forum could be expanded and enhanced, including throughreactivation of dialogue through the Forum’s Ministerial Committee on New Caledonia.

72. Leaders encouraged New Caledonia to continue their dialogue with France in order to beable to satisfy the full membership requirements of the Forum. Leaders welcomed thecontinuing interest of French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna to deepen their engagement withthe Forum.

73. Leaders welcomed the commitment by the Government of Australia of AUD85millionover four years for child and maternal health.

PRIVATE SECTOR DIALOGUE

74. Leaders received a presentation from the representatives of the private sector and taskedthe Secretary General to explore options on the further engagement of the private sector.

SMALLER ISLAND STATES LEADERS’ SUMMIT

75. Leaders noted the outcomes of the Smaller Island States Leaders’ Summit.

PACIFIC ACP LEADERS’ MEETING

76. Leaders noted the outcomes of the Pacific ACP Leaders’ meeting.

OBSERVER STATUS AT THE FORUM

77. Leaders recognised with appreciation the efforts of the World Bank to enhance itscooperation with the Forum members and the Forum Secretariat and its support for many of thekey objectives of the Pacific Plan which has contributed towards realising regional objectives.Mindful of the extensive and good relations the World Bank has established with members ofthe Forum, Leaders invited the World Bank to become a Forum observer.

FORUM DATES

78. Reflecting on the deliberations of FOC regarding Forum dates, Leaders reaffirmed thepractice that the venue and dates of the next Forum be announced at the previous Forum toallow for Forum members and Post-Forum Dialogue Partners to plan ahead. Leaders agreed inprinciple that the dates of the annual Forum Leaders’ meeting be set during the period betweenlate August and early September, with due regard to the international and national commitmentsof Leaders.

79. Leaders also reaffirmed that the FOC meeting be held three weeks in advance of theForum Leaders’ meeting and that it be held at the Forum Secretariat headquarters, unless theincoming Chair urges that it be held in the Forum host country and reaffirmed the policy offollowing the alphabetical order in determining the Forum host, with some flexibility to allowfor consideration of a request to host the Forum out of sequence.

CANDIDACIES

80. Leaders reaffirmed their strong and unanimous support for Australia’s candidature for theUN Security Council (UNSC) for the two year term 2013-2014 and New Zealand’scandidature for the two year term 2015-2016. Recognising the importance of Canada as aconstructive partner for the region, the Forum also reaffirmed its support for Canada’scandidacy for the 2011-2012 term.

VENUE AND TIME OF THE NEXT FORUM

81. Leaders welcomed the offer by the Government of New Zealand to host the 2011 Forumfrom 6 – 9 September 2011 which will also mark the 40th anniversary of the Pacific IslandsForum.

Annex 1 PORT VILA DECLARATION ON ACCELERATING PROGRESS ON THEACHIEVEMENT OF THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS

We, the Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum, meeting in Port Vila, Vanuatu:

Recalling our commitment to improve the lives of all impoverished people around the world under the United Nations Millennium Declaration and its implementation through theMillennium Development Goals

Noting the uneven success to date in achieving progress towards the Millennium DevelopmentGoals in our region and the need to improve the effectiveness of development resources to accelerate progress towards the Goals Reaffirming that the Barbados Programme of Action(BPoA) for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and itsMauritius Strategy for Implementation (MSI), remain the global framework for supporting the sustainable development of SIDS, including Pacific SIDS.

Recalling the Port Vila Outcome Statement on the MSI+5 review of the BPoA which highlighted the increasing vulnerability of Pacific Island Countries to threats and challenges, asemphasised by the impacts of the global economic crisis, compounded by the inherent threat ofclimate change, while the ability to cope has decreased.
Conscious of the opportunity presented by the forthcoming Millennium Development GoalsUnited Nations Summit, 20-22 September, New York on ways to accelerate progress towardsthe Millennium Development Goals to revitalise global commitment to achieving theMillennium Development Goals

Seizing the opportunity presented by the 5 year high-level review of the Mauritius Strategy forImplementation (MSI+5) to be undertaken by the UNGA on 24 and 25 September to examineprogress on reducing the vulnerability of Small Island Developing States and improvingsupport for their sustainable development, noting Pacific preparations already underway
Underscoring our commitment to Forum principles of democracy, good governance, broadbasedeconomic growth, security and sustainable development, as espoused through ourcommitment to regional cooperation and integration under the Pacific PlanRecognising the impediments to stronger and broader based development posed by the poorcoordination of development resources, the failure to better harmonise efforts to achieveoutcomes and the necessity of mutual accountability and respect among partnersCognisant of the need to unlock the region’s potential by seeking relevant and innovative policyand approaches that address our short, medium and long-term challenges

Acknowledging the centrality of political will and leadership in the success and sustainability ofaccelerated efforts to achieving the MDGs

Hereby reaffirm our intention to achieve improved standards of living and human well-being asmeasured by the Millennium Development Goals and commit to:

Continue to localise the Millennium Development Goals into national and regional plans,programs and prioritise budgets with particular focus on those that have the greatestconsequences for Pacific Island Peoples;advocate for the special needs of Small Island Developing States to ensure the development andpursuit of appropriate and sustainable policies and program responses, including through theuse of international platforms such as the BPoA and MSI that articulate an agreed special casefor SIDS;

coordinate efforts to support the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, drawingon the principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the Accra Agenda for Actionand the Pacific Principles on Aid Effectiveness, as actioned through the Cairns Compact onStrengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific, itself endorsed by Forum Leaders attheir annual meeting in 2009;’

Consistent with these commitments we call on our Development Partners to:work with us to immediately identify and develop major new activities and programs toexpedite the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals;

deliver on pledges to scale up aid and to channel a share of these increased resources to PacificIsland Countries towards accelerated Millennium Development Goal efforts; and honourcommitments under various and relevant international and regional arrangements, such as ParisDeclaration on Aid Effectiveness and Accra Agenda for Action, and Pacific Principles on Aid Effectiveness, and actively engage with regional efforts such as the Cairns Compact onStrengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific, which aim to improve theeffectiveness of development efforts through greater transparency and better governance of national and development partner resources.

Strengthen their support to Pacific Island Countries towards achieving sustainable developmentby mainstreaming the MSI and BPoA into programmatic work plans of development partners,including the regional banks, Bretton Woods Institutions and the UN system, includingthrough development of vulnerability and resilience indices.

Support the strengthening of national systems in data collection including disaggregated data,analysis and disseminationWe strongly urge non-governmental organizations, civil society, the private sector and otherstakeholders at the local, national, regional and international levels to join us in redoublingefforts towards achieving this objective.

We, the Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum, commit ourselves and our governments toimplementing this Declaration with the intention of accelerating progress to achieving theMillennium Development Goals in the interest of all Pacific Peoples allowing them to enjoypeaceful, prosperous, secure and fulfilling lives.

Port Vila,
Vanuatu
5 August 2010

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