Increasing the economic returns of regional fisheries, and responding to the effects of climate change and disaster risk management are two priority issues that leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum will discuss at their 47th Meeting in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, opening tomorrow.
Other key issues identified for leaders to consider under the Framework for Pacific Regionalism include implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, upholding human rights in West Papua, reducing the burden of cervical cancer, coordinating regional information and communications technology, trade integration, and a framework to support the rights of persons with disabilities.
Leaders from the Smaller Island States (SIS) of the Forum meet first tomorrow. Their focus will be on an implementation plan for the recently endorsed SIS Strategy.
The strategy highlights 5 key areas – climate change finance, air and sea transport, marine, mobility, and health – that, due to the unique circumstances and vulnerabilities of the SIS, require specific attention.
On Thursday, six representatives of civil society from across the region will breakfast with the Forum Troika (Leaders of Papua New Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia and Samoa) to put forward their perspective on the regional agenda.
Thursday will also see Pacific Leaders of the African Caribbean Pacific (PACP) grouping meet to discuss future perspectives of the ACP group and post-Cotonou arrangements, current programming of the Pacific Regional Indicative Program under the 11th European Development Fund and other trade and PACP related matters.
The official opening of the 47th Pacific Islands Forum Meeting takes place on Thursday evening in Kolonia, Pohnpei.
It is followed by the full Leaders Plenary Session with associate members and observers on Friday and a dialogue with private sector representatives.
The Leaders Retreat will be held on Saturday.
On Sunday, the Forum’s dialogue partners will meet with leaders for the Post Forum Dialogue which provides an opportunity to align development support behind the Forum’s policy priorities.