News 2 Nov 2017
People of the Pacific are strongest when they work together, and this cooperation is vital for the region to flourish.
Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Samoan Prime Minister Hon. Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi (pictured) has reiterated this message during the launch of the 2017 Regional Policy Consultations.
Calling on the people, communities, and organisations of the region to help build a healthy, peaceful, secure and prosperous Pacific, he says people of the Pacific must be innovators and implementers of their own future.
“We are strong when we work together and Pacific Regionalism is a path towards greater cooperation, collaboration and integration between our people, our institutions, and our countries,” Prime Minister Tuilaepa says.
“These consultations provide an opportunity for everyone to participate in the development of regional policies that will guide us on this journey.”
Recently, the PIF recently embraced the Blue Pacific concept which promotes a strong and independent Pacific identity, drawing on our shared stewardship of the Pacific Ocean as a key driver of Pacific Regionalism.
“The Blue Pacific concept should be a guide everyone who engages with the Forum through these consultations, and it also provides a platform for focussing on initiatives that recognise our shared resources, environment, and cultures, while at the same time promoting collective action for the good of us all,” the Prime Minister adds.
Reflecting on several key outcomes from the recently concluded Forum Leaders meeting in Samoa, Prime Minister Tuilaepa explains there are currently several initiatives the Forum Secretariat is working on which it would value input.
These include the proposed Forum Foreign Policy, and Biketawa Plus declaration on regional security.
The Prime Minister has highlighted the Forum’s commitment to inclusive and transparent approaches to regional policy development, which means being open to all ideas emerging from the consultations.
In previous years, the Forum has received a wide range of proposals on many different themes.
“This has led to important work being done to address issues like cervical cancer, and so I would certainly encourage you to come forward with your ideas if you see there is both an existing need and an opportunity for the region to work together,” Prime Minister Tuilaepa says.
The Forum Secretariat will be managing the Regional Policy Consultations which take place over the next three months.
Submissions can be made in person during the Secretariat’s in-country visits or by downloading a submission form HERE.