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RACE against TIME

THE 3rd Annual PIDF Summit will be held at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva from September 2 to 4. The theme is “Building Climate Resilient Green Blue Economies.” Delegates from across the Pacific and observers from the region and beyond will meet to discuss strategies to build resilience in the face of the greatest challenge the Pacific has ever faced. The summit has attracted regional and international interest with the Presidents of Nauru and Kiribati, Prime Ministers of Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, Ulu of Tokelau, Vice President of the FSM, and Foreign Ministers of Tuvalu and Marshall Islands confirming their participation.

The Chief Guest is His Excellency General Thanasak Patimapragorn, Deputy PM and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand. HE Ambassador Mr Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Secretariat along with Ambassador Mary Robinson Former President of Ireland and currently the UNSG Special Envoy on Climate Change will also be in attendance. In addition, over 200 delegates are expected from as far afield as Chile, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, and the UK.

This extends the list of highly distinguished guests who have attended previous summits, but there is something different in the air. There is increased interest as this Summit will witness the birth of a new International Organisation. Pacific Leaders will meet over the preceding two days to review the activities of the past year, to appoint the Secretary General and to discuss the PIDF Charter. The new Secretary General will be the first without the ‘interim’ or ‘acting’ moniker in front of his title and will take on the responsibility of realising the vision of the PIDF.

The Secretary General will be empowered to do so by the Charter. The Charter is the missing part of the PIDF institutional structure. The Charter is the international agreement officially founding the PIDF as an international organisation and providing the basis for future cooperation. Along with new financial and administrative regulations that have also been put in place, it will provide the basis for direct action to respond to climate change and to attract development partner support

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