How to improve the Blue Pacific region is the focus of a consultation between the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and Samoa this week.
To be held at Hotel Tanoa Tusitala, the regional policy consultations will focus on ensuring an inclusive approach to the development of the people and the Blue Pacific region.
The Secretariat has been conducting regional policy consultations across the region in the past three months.
This is according to Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Communications Officer, Ariela Zibiah, who arrives in Samoa with her team today.
Consultations in Apia will be held with representatives of the government, civil society and the private sector.
“The intention is to ensure that everyone, who is a citizen of the Blue Pacific, has an opportunity to contribute to regional policy development.”
“So everyone is invited to make a submission, to share their ideas of how we can collectively address development issues, particularly emerging issues our region is grappling with.”
“The Pacific Islands Forum leaders will be presented with the outcomes of this process in Nauru later this year.”
According to the Forum Secretariat’s website, the Specialist Sub-Committee on Regionalism (S.S.C.R.) was appointed by the Forum Troika Panel. It plays a vital role in the implementation of the Framework for Pacific regionalism.
The expert panel makes important decisions on the regional priorities to be put forward for Pacific Island leaders’ consideration at their annual forum.
The specialist sub-committee will not only apply the tests for regional action set out in the framework, but will also draw on advice from a broad range of sources, including the Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific (C.R.O.P.) agencies, to determine where the region’s needs are and how best these can be addressed through the framework.
P.I.F.S. Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor, is the standing chair of the sub-committee.
The seven other members are drawn from a range of diverse backgrounds, all possessing key skill sets and areas of expertise that they will apply to their work.
“We work towards strengthened partnerships, enhanced co-ordination and assistance in support of the effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Forum Leaders decisions and the framework for Pacific regionalism.”
The formation of an S.S.C.R., responsible to the Forum Officials Committee (F.O.C.), was mandated by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders at their special retreat in the Cook Islands on 5 May, 2014.
“The S.S.C.R. was further endorsed by Forum Leaders at their 45th Pacific Islands Forum in Palau on 31 July, 2014.”
“It comprises allocated positions for suitably-skilled representatives from each sub-region, Australia or New Zealand, a smaller island state, civil society and the private sector.”
“The Secretary General (the permanent Chair of C.R.O.P.) is sub-committee Chairperson and is supported by co-opted specialists as required and be selected by a panel of forum members serving on a rotational basis (Forum Communiqué, 2014).”
“The S.S.C.R.’s purpose is to play a key role in implementing the framework for Pacific regionalism by identifying and assessing priority initiatives to advance Pacific regionalism for leaders’ consideration.”
“The S.S.C.R.’s role will be to recommend to the F.O.C, the representative body of forum members, which regional initiatives should be overseen by leaders, and which may be better overseen by Ministers, as set out in steps one to five of the priority setting process established in the Framework for Pacific Regionalism.”