Vanuatu Daily News Digest | Ideas for regional development initiatives

An idea from the Forum for regional priorities …

Regional Initiatives Sought By Forum Body

A committee set up by Pacific Forum leaders to encourage inclusivity and to foster regional initiatives is open for business.

The eight-member Specialist Subcommittee on Regionalism, set up on 13th April this year, is now calling for submissions on regional initiatives.

"The committee’s work is the beginning of an historical process for the region — because it allows people of the Pacific to put through their own submissions on what they think Leaders should be focusing on as regional priorities,” says Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat which implements the mandates of Pacific leaders, and chairman of the committee.

The new framework for Pacific regionalism grew out of the Pacific Plan and seeks to strengthen co-operation and integration in the Pacific region. Its specialist subcommittee, as part of its mandate to implement the new framework, also encouraged multi-sectoral partnerships and opened up more inclusively to the private sector and to civil society.

"The Sub-committee’s work represents a shift in the development paradigm and is vital in shaping the future Pacific regional agenda. This committee is tasked with identifying truly game-changing initiatives to transform the region, which will be put to Leaders for their consideration," says Secretary General Taylor.

She asserted the calls for regional initiatives will remain open for seven weeks: “Proposals or initiatives should be pitched at the regional level, that is, issues that we as a collective group can best respond to.”

All proposals received for regional initiatives will be available on the Forum’s website.

The eight members of the Specialist Sub Committee are: Melanesia – Mr Leonard Louma (PNG), Micronesia – Mr Gustav Aitaro (Palau), Polynesia – Mr Lopeti Senituli (Tonga), Australia – Mr John Davidson (Australia), Smaller Island States – Ms Teresa Manarangi-Trott (Cook Islands), Civil Society – Mr William Kostka (FSM), Private Sector – Mr Peter Kiely (NZ), Chair – Dame Meg Taylor, (PIFS).