Pacific Community Calls for Coordinated, Inclusive Approach to Development

SPC19 November 2013: Ministers and senior officials from the 26 member governments of the Pacific Community called for a coordinated approach to development in the region, at the Eighth Conference of the Pacific Community.

The conference took place from 18-19 November 2013,  in Suva, Fiji, on the theme, 'Enhancing sustainable development in Pacific Communities – Helping shape the post-2015 agenda,' and delegates discussed a paper on the topic. The paper highlights calls from Pacific countries to include culture as key aspect of sustainable development, and to address mental health issues in the post-2015 agenda.

The paper notes the strong engagement of Pacific countries in current intergovernmental processes and their potential for influencing the post-2015 development agenda, including the forthcoming Third International Conference on Small Island Development States (SIDS) in 2014 in Samoa, Fiji's chairing of the Group of 77 (G-77), and the participation of Nauru, Palau and Papua New Guinea on the UN General Assembly's (UNGA) Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). An annex to the paper compares priorities emanating from various work streams leading to the post-2015 agenda, including the UN High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (HLP); the OWG; the Pacific regional preparatory meeting on SIDS in Nadi, Fiji, in July 2013; and the Interregional Preparatory Meeting on SIDS in Bridgetown, Barbados, in August 2013.

Delegates called for further support from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) to help countries in the region develop policies and improve knowledge sharing in the area of sustainable development, and for the SDGs to be concrete and implementable. They noted the need for increased investment in partnerships to address regional priorities.

The 26 members of the Pacific Community are: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna, as well as Australia, France, New Zealand and the US.

The Conference of the Pacific Community takes place every two years. This year's meeting appointed Colin Tukuitonga, Niue, as the new Director-General of the SPC, succeeding Jimmie Rodgers, Solomon Islands, who completed an eight-year term in the post. [SPC Press Release, 18 November] [SPC Press Release, 19 November] [Conference Paper: 'Enhancing Sustainable Development in Pacific Communities - Helping Shape the Post-2015 Agenda] [SPC Website]