FSM attends 22nd Post Forum Dialogue Partners Meeting in Vanuatu
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): August 11, 2010 - On August 5, 2010, the day after the opening ceremony and the plenary session of the 41st Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting, the Leaders held their Retreat at the Havanah Resort at Samoa Point, in Vanuatu.
At the Retreat, the Leaders discussed, amongst other things, the following key topics: accelerating progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), promoting more effective coordination and implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation actions, facilitating access to the Japanese Pacific Environment Community Fund, the status of the implementation of the Cairns Compact and Fisheries. The outcome statement of the retreat is summarized in the Forum Communique which can be viewed in full on the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat website at www.forumsec.org, under Press Statements.
The 22nd Post Forum Dialogue Partners Meeting was then held at Le Lagon Resort, Vanuatu, on August 6, 2010, offering Non-Forum member countries the opportunity to exchange views with the Forum Leaders regarding the statements made in the Forum Communique.
This year's Post Forum Dialogue saw the participation of Canada, Japan, Korea, Italy, France, the Republic of Indonesia, Malaysia, the People's Republic of China, Philippines, the United Kingdom, India, the United States, Thailand, and representatives of the European Union. Also present were numerous international organizations, including representatives from the United Nations, USAID, World Bank and Asian Development Bank. All are considered important development partners for the Forum Island Countries; they all congratulated the Forum Leaders on the adoption of their Communique on August 5, 2010.
During the Post Forum Dialogue, the development partners focused their discussions on proposed development efforts in the Pacific region to achieve the MDGs, the intention of moving towards an international binding agreement addressing climate change mitigation and continued support for the sustainable development of Pacific Island Countries.
Kurt Campbell, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, head of the US Delegation, stated that the US has "under-performed in the Pacific region and plans to change that dramatically." Campbell informed participants that a USAID office will re-open in Suva, Fiji, in 2010, and another USAID office will open in Port Moresby, PNG, in 2011. He also promised that as a result of the Guam Build-Up, there will be employment opportunities in Guam for citizens of PIF countries.
Chinami Nishimura, Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, head of the Japanese Delegation, thanked the Forum Leaders for acknowledging the Pacific Environment Community Fund (PEC Fund) set up by the Japanese Government, currently holding 6.8 billion Yen (approximately USD66 million). Nishimura reminded participants that submissions of projects regarding solar power generation and sea water desalination can now be submitted by Forum Island Countries (FICs) to ensure prompt distribution of the PEC funds.
Christian Leffler, Deputy Director General for Relations with ACP Countries, head of the European Union Delegation, drew attention to their recently created "EU Vulnerability Flex" Instrument. This instrument has mobilized 28 million Euros to assist the FICs worst hit by downturns in trade and falling revenues; he stated 5 of the FICs will be eligible for support this year under EU Vulnerability Flex.
The Premier of Niue, Toke Tufukia Talagi, closed the morning session of the Post Forum Dialogue by making it very clear that "if we fail to come to a legal binding agreement on climate change, we waste our time at these meetings and conferences;" and stated that while he is thankful for all the funding seemingly available for the FICs, it has little meaning until money is actually transferred to the FICs to enable payment of projects. Talagi stood up during the meeting and physically handed over a one dollar bill to Chair Natapei, as a symbol of what needs to take place to truly assist the FICs.
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