THE Pacific Forum Secretariat’s Specialist Sub-Committee on Regionalism has received a total of 68 proposals for regional initiatives from a wide crosssection of Pacific communities including Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). However, no more than five of those proposals will be considered by Forum leaders when they next meet in Papua New Guinea next month. Formed earlier this year as part of the Pacific Forum’s Framework for Pacific Regionalism, the Specialist SubCommittee is tasked with encouraging inclusivity by seeking regional proposals from the public, for consideration by the leaders of the Forum’s 16 member countries.
The bulk of the proposals received focused around security and human rights in the region, management of ocean resources, economic-related issues and Climate Change. A spokesman for the Sub-Committee, Willy Kostka of the Micronesia Conservation Trust, said the number of proposals demonstrated a positive appreciation of the attempts to make the Pacific Forum and island leaders more responsive to issues of concern to ordinary Pacific islanders. “As a result, the Sub Committee considered every single proposal and grouped them into categories. Now, we are working on a number of ‘game-changing’ priorities for consideration by the leaders,” Kostka told journalists.
Pressed by Islands Business to reveal the proposals which will be recommended for consideration by island leaders, Kostka would only say that stringent tests will be applied to ensure only the most pressing proposals, which are regional in nature, are forwarded. “We’ve also listed the proposals according to whether they should be considered by island leaders, by ministerial groupings, by individual island countries or by the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific or CROP agencies.”
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