The Forty-first Pacific Islands Forum was held in Port Vila, Vanuatu, from 4 to 5 August 2010 and was attended by Heads of State and Governments of the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Kiribati, the Republic of Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, the Republic of 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 Planning and District Development represented Papua New Guinea. Solomon Islands and Tuvalu were represented by Special Envoys. New Caledonia and French Polynesia attended the formal session as Associate Members. Timor-Leste, Tokelau, Wallis and Futuna, the Asian Development Bank, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations attended as Observers. Forum meetings were convened at the Le Lagon Resort in Port Vila and the Forum Retreat was held at the Havannah Resort, Samoa Point.
2. Leaders expressed their deep gratitude to the Prime Minister, the Government and people of 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. Leaders acknowledged that the meeting was convened following the celebration of Vanuatu’s 30th anniversary of independence and congratulated Vanuatu of this significant landmark in its statehood. Leaders also expressed their sincere appreciation to the traditional leaders and people of Port Vila for the warm reception received and goodwill extended during their participation in the 2010 Forum meeting.
3. Leaders expressed their condolences to the Government and people of New Zealand for the sad loss of a New Zealand soldier in Afghanistan on 4 August. In doing so, Leaders also recalled 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 the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals which is attached as Annex 1. Leaders welcomed the presentation by the Forum Chair, Vanuatu on the outcomes of the Pacific High Level Dialogue on the Five Year Review of the Mauritius Strategy of the further Implementation of the Barbados Plan of Action and the Pacific Conference on the Human Face of the Global Economic Crisis.
5. Climate change remains the greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and well-being of the peoples of the Pacific. The degree of urgency for real commitments to emissions reduction must be commensurate with the science and associated impacts of Climate Change on the most vulnerable communities. It cannot be viewed in the short term impacts to traditional industrial growth or political tenure, but in the longer term sustainability of economies, societies and peoples the world over. A meaningful legally binding agreement on emissions reduction must be reached urgently and without delay.
6. Leaders agreed that negotiations must be maintained at the highest level in the lead up to COP 16 in Cancun and should be approached in a manner that facilitates an understanding of different positions of various countries and not lamenting these differences.
7. Continuing and concerted efforts by Forum members are being made at national, regional and international levels to address the impacts of climate change on Pacific communities and peoples.
8. National efforts are focusing on the mainstreaming of climate change into national plans and systems as well as developing appropriate adaption strategies. At the regional level, a mid-term review of the Pacific Islands Framework for Action on Climate Change (2005) and its accompanying action plan is underway to ensure that national and regional climate change initiatives remain relevant and coherent.
9. In anticipation of significantly increased flows of resources to come to the region as a result of the commitments made at COP 15, an emphasis has been placed on the need for strengthened country-led systems for the coordination of these resources with, where appropriate, support from their regional organisations and development partners.
10. To enable Forum Island Countries to realise the full benefit of rapidly scaled-up international financing commitments to support implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts, help build the resilience of vulnerable countries, particularly the SIS, and enhance the transparency of funding flows based on identified national and regional priorities.
11. Leaders recognised the importance of effective coordination and implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts at all levels, and particularly at the national level.
Principles to promote more effective coordination and implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation actions
12. Leaders endorsed the following principles to guide Forum Island Countries and development partners in implementing climate change adaptation and mitigation measures bearing in mind existing and ongoing efforts in the region:
Sufficient and sustainable resources, based on existing and predicted impacts, should be mobilised and made available as a matter of priority;
These resources should be timely, easily accessible, and commensurate with administrative and absorptive capacities of Pacific Island Countries and their systems;
climate change adaptation and mitigation should be integrated into broader national development efforts;
adaptation and mitigation measures should be country-led and supported, in a coordinated way by development partners; and
as far as practicable, support for these measures should be provided through Forum Island Country systems and processes including where appropriate, regional systems.
13. Leaders noted that these principles are consistent with the Cairns Compact and the Pacific Islands Framework for Action on Climate Change, and take into account negotiations currently underway in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Leaders recognised the important role regional and international measures play in supporting national adaptation and mitigation by enhancing capacity and access to resources.
14. Leaders recognised the importance of both concrete measures to address immediate adaptation needs, and improved climate change science and understanding adaptive capacity, to underpin effective adaptation planning.
15. Leaders tasked Forum Economic and Environment Ministers and Executives of CROP Agencies to advise on options to improve access to, and management of, climate change resources. Leaders also tasked the Forum Secretariat to work with relevant organisations to develop mechanisms to assist countries access the different international financing for climate change.
16. Leaders agreed that regional coordination of climate change financing under the Cairns Compact will be critical to the effectiveness of aid delivery and utilisation and agreed to boost the capacity of the Forum Secretariat to perform this function.
17. Leaders welcomed the initiative of Kiribati in its hosting of the Tarawa Climate Change Conference in November 2010 which will bring together countries vulnerable to impact of climate change and major economies ahead of the Cancun climate change meetings in November-December 2010.
18. Leaders welcomed the budgetary allocation by the Australian Government for climate change 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) Pacific Environment Community Fund (PEC Fund) provided to the Forum Island Countries by the Government 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 Japan and the Secretariat have adopted guidelines and procedures for the use of the PEC Fund which is now available for submissions of projects by FICs.
CAIRNS COMPACT ON STRENGTHENING DEVELOPMENT COORDINATION IN THE PACIFIC
20. Leaders commended the efforts of the Forum Secretariat in implementing the Cairns Compact and noted that the three reports presented – the Road Map on Strengthening Public Financial Management; the Pacific Regional Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Tracking Report; and Tracking the Effectiveness of Development Efforts - provided, for the first time, a baseline on efforts to strengthen development coordination in the region.
21. Leaders reaffirmed the urgent and ongoing need for the effective and coordinated implementation of policy measures and practical responses aimed at supporting Pacific island countries’ development efforts in alleviating adverse effects of the global financial and economic crises, with the objective of building sustained economic resilience in the Pacific.
22. In considering the report on the Roadmap on Strengthening Public Financial Management, Leaders highlighted the linkages between public financial management and strengthened development cooperation. Leaders endorsed the directions of the Roadmap and tasked the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting to ensure early implementation of its key findings 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 the Pacific report highlighted some good examples where PIC leadership in development coordination is having positive impact. Leaders recognised the opportunity to build on these experiences to achieve accelerated development outcomes in the face of the significant challenges confronting the region. Leaders endorsed the PPAC recommendation that members identify 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 on-going leadership at the highest level was critical to success.
24. Leaders welcomed advice from Nauru and Kiribati that the peer review process had been valuable, and acknowledged those members and development partners who had volunteered to participate. Leaders recognised that the peer reviews were conducted in a neighbourly and constructive spirit, consistent with the Pacific way, and represent an innovative approach to learning from each other and reaffirmed that the peer review process remained a key advance achieved under the Cairns Compact.
25. Leaders acknowledged the first year of implementation had shown the need to streamline reporting processes and integrate them into existing reporting arrangements, and that countries needed to refine what approaches would be most appropriate given their national circumstances. Leaders noted the need for on-going support to the Forum Secretariat to effectively coordinate implementation of the Cairns Compact.
26. Leaders tasked the Forum Secretariat, relevant CROP agencies and development partners to facilitate the development of practical next steps, in establishing appropriate time-bound and optimal processes suited to national circumstances, making use of findings from the Peer Review and reporting processes under the Compact.
27. Leaders strongly encouraged Forum members, regional organisations and development partners to intensify efforts in support of the ongoing effective implementation of the Cairns Compact.
28. Leaders noted the Pacific Plan Annual Progress Report 2010 on implementing the priorities endorsed by them at the Cairns Forum in August 2009 and welcomed a number of key achievements, including:
strengthened regional approaches to fisheries conservation and management through the collaborative work of FFA and SPC and more recently through the efforts of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA);
a sub-regional shipping feeder service for the Smaller Island States of the central Pacific has become operational;
enhanced efforts to strengthen development cooperation and coordination by implementing key principles of aid effectiveness, including under the Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific (Cairns Compact);
Regional cooperation in the areas of audit and ombudsman services has been strengthened;
Steady progress on trade negotiations; and
Development of frameworks for action on food security, energy security, and Information Communication Technology (ICT).
29. Leaders reaffirmed the Pacific Plan priorities for 2010-2013 and noted that the CROP Executives had highlighted five key issues for their attention of Leaders in response to major trends, or to unexpected events in the region. These were to: finalise the delineation of permanent maritime boundaries; sustainably increase the coverage of safe drinking water and basic sanitation services; focus education efforts on increasing literacy and numeracy rates in selected Pacific Island countries; expand the definition of disaster risk management beyond that posed by climate change to be people focused, covering responses to health disasters as well as factoring in population growth and movement; recognise that the lack of technical and managerial capacity in the power utilities area is a serious concern. Leaders noted that while these issues were covered by the current priorities, extra effort was required to achieve results in these areas. Leaders also highlighted the ongoing need for effective and coordinated bilateral and regional cooperation to address maritime safety issues.
30. Leaders noted that fisheries resources of the Pacific represent a major source of food and income for Pacific Islands Countries (PICs) and for many Pacific people is the main prospect for sustainable economic development. The maximisation of return from these resources and their sustainable conservation and management is therefore fundamental to the long-term socio-economic wellbeing and stability of the region, as is the protection of those resources. Leaders welcomed the presentation from the Directors-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and Forum Fisheries Agency of the summary report of “The future of Pacific Island fisheries” and reaffirmed the importance of managing this resource sustainably and responsibly to the optimum benefit of the peoples of the Pacific.
31. Leaders recalled the 2007 Vava’u Declaration on fisheries matters, particularly highlighting their call for strengthened mechanisms to protect regional fisheries via new multilateral Pacific regional arrangements for exchange of fisheries law enforcement data, cross-vesting of enforcement powers and the use of fisheries data for other law enforcement activities. Leaders welcomed the initiative of Australia in hosting the joint Pacific Fisheries and Law Enforcement Justice Ministers’ Meeting in Canberra on 12 and 13 July 2010. Leaders endorsed recommendations by Fisheries Ministers to negotiate a region-wide Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement and instructed officials to proceed expeditiously with the negotiation process to conclude no later than the end of 2012.
32. Leaders endorsed the Regional Monitoring Control and Surveillance Strategy as the overarching framework to support the fisheries management objectives of FFA members and to guide FFA members in complementing and strengthening existing MCS arrangements.
33. Leaders welcomed the generous offer of NZ$4.8m for training of Pacific fisheries observers by the New Zealand Government.
34. Leaders agreed and endorsed the implementation of the Regional Economic Integration in Pacific tuna fisheries programme as a tool to assist FFA members gain additional economic returns from their fisheries resources.
35. Leaders noted the work undertaken by FFA, SPC, and PNA on fisheries. Leaders tasked the relevant regional organisations to explore options for optimizing fisheries commercialization to increase fisheries revenue beyond licensing fees. Leaders further tasked these regional organizations to prepare and submit through the Forum Secretariat a report on fisheries commercialization for further consideration by the FEMM 2010.
36. Leaders encouraged the formation of new regional partnerships between Forum members on commercial fisheries enterprises, especially in processing activities under a new Forum process 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 Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO) and noted the critical importance of effective oversight to ensuring that the region’s aviation services meet international safety and security standards. Leaders reminded PASO members of the importance of providing timely and sustainable funding to ensure that PASO is able to meet its objectives.
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 to task the Forum Secretariat and SPC to work with OFC to develop an appropriate framework that 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 in Auckland from 15-20 March 2010.
SUPPORTING PACIFIC PEOPLES WITH DISABILITIES
40. Leaders endorsed the report on the Forum Disability Ministers meeting held in Cook Islands in October 2009 promoting an inclusive, barrier-free, and rights-based society for people with disabilities, which embraces the diversity of all Pacific people. Leaders supported its objectives to improve the lives and status of persons with disabilities in the Pacific region and affirmed the need for disability inclusive development in all government programs in Forum Island countries to address the needs of persons with disabilities – accepting such people are among the poorest and most vulnerable and face many barriers to full participation in society.
41. Leaders reaffirmed their strong support for the Pacific Regional Strategy on Disability endorsed at the Forum Disability Ministers: to support Pacific Island Forum member countries to protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities; to provide a framework for the coordination of development partners, governments and civil society in building a disability inclusive Pacific; and strengthen commitment of all stakeholders towards implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other human rights instruments relating to disability.
42. Leaders recognised that the Pacific Regional Strategy on Disability: reflects the reality and needs of the Pacific and its unique social, economic and geographic context; represents a common 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 their work on disability issues and allows the Forum Secretariat and other regional organisations, development partners and civil society a platform for engaging with governments on disability-inclusive development and progress at the national and regional levels.
43. Leaders welcomed progress made on PACER Plus negotiations. Leaders recognised the urgent need for extension of assistance under Aid for Trade to assist building the capacities of Forum Island Countries.
44. In considering the outcomes of the Forum Trade Ministers’ Meeting on 29 April 2010 in Pohnpei, Leaders noted the proposed development of a shared 10 year strategy for Pacific Islands Trade and Invest, to be considered by Trade Ministers in 2011. Leaders also encouraged countries to fulfil their commitment to providing funding to the WTO Geneva Office. Leaders further urged those countries still to announce readiness to trade under PICTA to do so with urgency.
45. Leaders agreed to refer the issue of participation of Fiji in the PACER Plus process to the Ministerial Contact Group (MCG) for further consideration. Leaders further agreed for the MCG, now under the chairmanship of Vanuatu as Forum Chair, to consider possible modalities for engaging Fiji in PACER Plus negotiations and to circulate their findings to Leaders for consideration before the next Forum.
46. Leaders endorsed the Framework for Action on Energy Security in the Pacific and reaffirmed their commitment to renewable energy and energy efficient future based on achievable and practical and voluntary targets. Leaders noted the available funding windows on renewable energy for SIS and their limited capacity to develop renewable energy proposals and manage large funded projects.
47. Leaders noted ongoing developments on labour mobility in the region as well as parallel developments on Temporary Movement of Natural Persons-related activities and the labour mobility objectives of Smaller Island States under the auspices of PACER Plus, PICTA, EPA and other trade negotiations.
REGIONAL INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK
48. Leaders welcomed the signing at their Plenary Session on 4 August 2010 of the Letter of Agreement between SPC and SOPAC relating to the final transfer of the core functions. Leaders acknowledged the importance of ensuring adequate resources for SOPAC’s functions beyond 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 relation to partnership mechanisms with the Forum, including the Post Forum Dialogue and, reflecting on the update provided to the 2010 Pre-Forum FOC, agreed to establish a review process to reassess the status of PFD partners, including options for cost recovery, directing that this review report back to the 2011 FOC.
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, cognisant of the Leaders’ decisions at Port Moresby and Cairns in 2009.
51. Leaders welcomed the convening of the Ministerial Contact Group (MCG) meeting held in 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 facing Fiji.
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 to Solomon Islands and highly commended the strong leadership and commitment of the Solomon Islands Government and RAMSI in working together to ensure lasting benefits for the people of Solomon Islands. Leaders welcomed the significant joint achievements and progress made in implementing the Leaders’ decisions taken at the 2009 Forum regarding RAMSI, in particular the SIG-RAMSI Partnership Framework. Leaders also welcomed the outcomes of the Parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee’s (PFRC) Inquiry into the Facilitation 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, and more often only if developments require.
57. Leaders also commended the initiative of RAMSI to stage a photographic exhibition during 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 and Government Solomon Islands to all Forum members, especially Australia, and the Secretary General 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 the PRAN to other forms of bilateral, regional and multilateral support to Nauru following their decision in Cairns in 2009, at Nauru’s request, to bring the PRAN activity to an end. Leaders also welcomed the expression of gratitude by the Government and people of Nauru and agreed that PRAN will no longer be included in the agenda of future Forum meetings.
60. Leaders recognised that transnational crime remains a threat to national and regional stability and requires effective national law enforcement agencies, continuing regional cooperation and pledged high level political commitment to combat this threat. Leaders commended the work of the Forum Regional Security Committee (FRSC) in advancing regional cooperation in addressing these challenges and highlighted the valuable work being carried out by national and regional law enforcement agencies and other relevant bodies active in the region.
SMALL ARMS AND LIGHT WEAPONS (SALW)
61. Leaders reaffirmed that the availability and proliferation of SALW remained a serious threat to peace and stability in the Pacific region. Leaders welcomed endorsement by the FRSC of the Regional Implementation Guidelines for the UN Programme of Action, which is aimed at assisting Forum members to meet the requirements of the primary international instruments relating to the control of SALW. Leaders also welcomed other steps being taken at regional and 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 take forward their direction at Cairns in 2009 to address SGBV and acknowledged the initiative of the FRSC to recommend the establishment of a Reference Group on SGBV to assist the Forum Secretariat and support national efforts.
INTERNATIONAL DISARMAMENT ISSUES
63. Leaders welcomed the successful outcome of the 2010 Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, including the announcement by the United States of its intention to ratify all 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 and potential of the CTBT verification system, including for earthquake and tsunami warning networks in the Pacific.
RADIOACTIVE CONTAMINANTS IN THE REPUBLIC OF THE MARSHALL ISLANDS
65. Leaders recognised the special circumstances pertaining to the continued presence of radioactive contaminants in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and reaffirmed the existence of a special responsibility by the United States of America towards the people of the Marshall Islands, who have been, and continue to be, adversely affected as a direct result of nuclear weapons tests conducted by the U.S. during its administration of the Marshall Islands under the United Nations Trusteeship mandate.
66. Leaders reiterated their call on the United States of America to live up to its full obligations on the provision of adequate compensation and commitment to its responsibility for the safe resettlement of displaced populations, including the full and final restoration to economic productivity of all affected areas. Leaders undertook to consider submitting a letter to the U.S. Government urging the U.S. to take action in the aftermath of the Congressional hearings 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 this issue at the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Security Council, and other international fora.
68. Leaders reiterated the critical importance of ensuring the sustainable development, management and conservation of our ocean. Leaders endorsed the draft Framework for a Pacific Oceanscape and acknowledged with thanks the efforts of the Marine Sector Working Group and partners in developing this framework. Leaders strongly encouraged continued Forum leadership and regional cooperation and tasked CROP agencies to implement the Framework in partnership with other relevant organisations.
69. Leaders acknowledged the launch of the Green Energy Micronesia (GEM) Initiative by the Governments of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau during the 41st Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ meeting and requested CROP agencies to provide necessary support for its implementation, taking into account the Framework for Action on Energy Security in the Pacific.
70. Leaders considered the proposal from the Republic of Palau for the Taiwan/ROC Forum Countries Dialogue with its partners to be part of the Post-Forum Dialogue and agreed to retain the status quo as established in the 1992 and 1999 Forum Communiqués.
71. Leaders noted with appreciation the interest expressed by the President of the Government of New Caledonia in eventual full membership of the Forum. Recognising that a number of issues relating to New Caledonia’s international standing would be resolved as it advanced with France the self-determination process under the Noumea Accord, Leaders requested the Forum Secretariat to explore further with New Caledonia ways in which its engagement and role within the Forum could be expanded and enhanced, including through reactivation 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 be able to satisfy the full membership requirements of the Forum. Leaders welcomed the continuing interest of French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna to deepen their engagement with the Forum.
73. Leaders welcomed the commitment by the Government of Australia of AUD85million over four years for child and maternal health.
PRIVATE SECTOR DIALOGUE
74. Leaders received a presentation from the representatives of the private sector and tasked the 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 its cooperation with the Forum members and the Forum Secretariat and its support for many of the key 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 of the Forum, Leaders invited the World Bank to become a Forum observer.
78. Reflecting on the deliberations of FOC regarding Forum dates, Leaders reaffirmed the practice that the venue and dates of the next Forum be announced at the previous Forum to allow for Forum members and Post-Forum Dialogue Partners to plan ahead. Leaders agreed in principle that the dates of the annual Forum Leaders’ meeting be set during the period between late August and early September, with due regard to the international and national commitments of Leaders.
79. Leaders also reaffirmed that the FOC meeting be held three weeks in advance of the Forum Leaders’ meeting and that it be held at the Forum Secretariat headquarters, unless the incoming Chair urges that it be held in the Forum host country and reaffirmed the policy of following the alphabetical order in determining the Forum host, with some flexibility to allow for consideration of a request to host the Forum out of sequence.
80. Leaders reaffirmed their strong and unanimous support for Australia’s candidature for the UN Security Council (UNSC) for the two year term 2013-2014 and New Zealand’s candidature for the two year term 2015-2016. Recognising the importance of Canada as a constructive partner for the region, the Forum also reaffirmed its support for Canada’s candidacy 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 Forum from 6 – 9 September 2011 which will also mark the 40th anniversary of the Pacific Islands Forum.
PORT VILA DECLARATION ON ACCELERATING PROGRESS ON THE ACHIEVEMENT 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 the Millennium Development Goals
Noting the uneven success to date in achieving progress towards the Millennium Development Goals 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 its Mauritius 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, as emphasised by the impacts of the global economic crisis, compounded by the inherent threat of climate change, while the ability to cope has decreased.
Conscious of the opportunity presented by the forthcoming Millennium Development Goals United Nations Summit, 20-22 September, New York on ways to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals to revitalise global commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals
Seizing the opportunity presented by the 5 year high-level review of the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation (MSI+5) to be undertaken by the UNGA on 24 and 25 September to examine progress on reducing the vulnerability of Small Island Developing States and improving support for their sustainable development, noting Pacific preparations already underway
Underscoring our commitment to Forum principles of democracy, good governance, broad-based economic growth, security and sustainable development, as espoused through our commitment to regional cooperation and integration under the Pacific Plan
Recognising the impediments to stronger and broader based development posed by the poor coordination of development resources, the failure to better harmonise efforts to achieve outcomes and the necessity of mutual accountability and respect among partners
Cognisant of the need to unlock the region’s potential by seeking relevant and innovative policy and approaches that address our short, medium and long-term challenges
Acknowledging the centrality of political will and leadership in the success and sustainability of accelerated efforts to achieving the MDGs
Hereby reaffirm our intention to achieve improved standards of living and human well-being as measured 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 greatest consequences for Pacific Island Peoples;
advocate for the special needs of Small Island Developing States to ensure the development and pursuit of appropriate and sustainable policies and program responses, including through the use of international platforms such as the BPoA and MSI that articulate an agreed special case for SIDS;
coordinate efforts to support the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, drawing on the principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the Accra Agenda for Action and the Pacific Principles on Aid Effectiveness, as actioned through the Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific, itself endorsed by Forum Leaders at their 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 to expedite the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals;
deliver on pledges to scale up aid and to channel a share of these increased resources to Pacific Island Countries towards accelerated Millennium Development Goal efforts; and honour commitments under various and relevant international and regional arrangements, such as Paris Declaration 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 on Strengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific, which aim to improve the effectiveness 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 development by mainstreaming the MSI and BPoA into programmatic work plans of development partners, including the regional banks, Bretton Woods Institutions and the UN system, including through development of vulnerability and resilience indices.
Support the strengthening of national systems in data collection including disaggregated data, analysis and dissemination
We strongly urge non-governmental organizations, civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders at the local, national, regional and international levels to join us in redoubling efforts towards achieving this objective.
We, the Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum, commit ourselves and our governments to implementing this Declaration with the intention of accelerating progress to achieving the Millennium Development Goals in the interest of all Pacific Peoples allowing them to enjoy peaceful, prosperous, secure and fulfilling lives.
Port Vila, Vanuatu
5 August 2010