Forum opportunity on the radar
The Israeli Government is looking at playing a more active role in the Pacific region. It is seriously considering a role in the upcoming Pacific Islands Forum meeting to be held in Nauru in September.
This is according to the Deputy Director General of the Israel Cooperation Center, Gil Haskel. He told the Samoa Observer they have met the President of Nauru on the matter.
Nauru will host the 49th Pacific Islands Forum and related meetings from 3rd -6th September 2018.
The Government of Nauru has chosen “Building a strong Pacific: Our Islands, Our People, Our Will” as the theme for this year’s gathering.
Haskel said for the P.I.F.S., the Israeli Government is trying to craft some sort of “Israeli Pacific Initiative at its initial stage but we are working on it and the issues that we can assist such as food security and water.”
“And we also intend to address the long distance between Israel and the Pacific Islands.”
“We are also waiting for an invitation to the P.I.F.S,” said Haskel.
“We asked that they craft together some sort of year multi country programme basically on food security, but on a two way street.”
“We also have to hear from different forums in addressing the challenges and we can finalise how we can help base on Israeli’s abilities,” said Haskel.
He also pointed out that annually the Israeli Government funds between 2,000-2,500 trainings for Pacific Islands.
“And also go out to the field and train in the different countries, targeting issues such as agriculture, water, health, education.”
Haskel then shared Israeli’s manmade technologies in green houses.
“The only way to grow more is food technology and smart technology and to depend less on the climate rather to depend on the manmade artificial green houses.”
“If you have drought or a heat wave or humid, you can control the climate in the greenhouse and you can produce food the way you need to produce food in your country,” said Haskel.
Regarding the Israeli Pacific Development, Haskel said it’s quite challenging because of its location.
“Challenging in ways that traveling here takes a few days; we do the same coming to your country.”
“It is also challenging to bring trainers to the Pacific or bring the Pacific Islanders to be trained in Israel.”
“But we try to address these challenges though a lot of engagements with your Government and we only are the only region in the world that funds for professionals to come to the Pacific Islands.”
“And we do like to see many more professionals come in the future to the islands to conduct rather necessary trainings to assist.”
According to Haskel, the Israeli Government has programmes with Pacific Islands in the field of emergency preparedness.
“It doesn’t matter if it is an earthquake, flood, typhoon, cyclone or war, but the approach of how to build in going forth and how to tackle emergencies, which is something that Israel has too much experience in and I am very happy to share it with all of you and of course the issue of food security,” said Haskel.
He further stated that two weeks ago they had two women representatives here for women conference.
“Two women from Nauru came to attend the meeting compliments of the Israeli Government.”