SUVA, (PIDF) - The Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) secretariat was visited by a high level delegation from Solomon Islands led by their Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, also current chair of PIDF, where a progress update of activities undertaken by the secretariat was provided by its Secretary General.
The PIDF Chair stated that he would like to ensure that the secretariat fully operates in compliance with its founding mandates and functions when he hands over the chairmanship upon the completion of his two year term in office.
The Prime Minister Sogavare and PIDF Secretary General, François Martel discussed operational matters of the PIDF aligned to its mandated work plan.
Secretary General Martel informed the PIDF Chair that consultations are currently being undertaken on the establishment of National Sustainable Development Boards (NSDB) within member countries. These consultations also enhanced member countries awareness of PIDF goals particularly the urgency to institute national/local actions through these NSDBs.
“The Republic of Marshall Islands has set-up the first NSDB and consultations with other members are on-going from January to April 2017 with positive outcomes envisioned. Our draft strategic plan, a proposed Pacific Climate Treaty and our climate change roadmap are also inclusive in these in country consultations”, said the PIDF Secretary General.
The PIDF Chair and his delegation were also informed that the Secretariat will be holding within the first quarter of this year a Pacific Blue Economy Conference.
“The Blue Economy Conference will bring together the civil society and private sector representatives, policy-makers, academics, researchers and scientists to focus on the latest innovations, lessons learned, best practices and private-public partnerships to influence policies for sustainable management and conservation of ocean resources for the Pacific islands”, said Secretary General Martel.
“This conference is a call for action on the key emerging issues challenging the sustainable management and conservation of the Pacific oceans and the resources therein”, he further added.
The Secretary General informed the PIDF chair of preparations that are currently underway for the PIDF Conference and the Leaders’ Summit.
“The PIDF Conference is the apex-decision making body of the organisation. It will be held under the Chairmanship of the PM of Solomon Islands in Honiara in August this year. The Conference will also include the first Members Representative Council meeting and the 2017 Leaders’ Summit.
An update was also presented on preparations for observing the Pacific Year for the Oceans in 2017, in recognition of the importance of the ocean to our nations’ economies and our people’s health and cultures while dealing with threats posed to our oceans by over-harvesting of resources, sea-based pollution, the impacts of climate change on the ocean’s ecosystems and our people’s livelihood.
The PIDF Chair expressed appreciation for the Secretariat’s preparation for the PIDF Conference & Leaders’ Summit and the upcoming Pacific Blue Economy Conference and assured the Solomon Islands Government commitment towards ensuring the success of these meetings.
He also expressed appreciation for the trust and confidence the PIDF Secretariat placed in his chairmanship over the regional organisation and according him the honour of leading the consultation process for a successor PIDF Chair.