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Cook Islands engage in Pacific Islands Forum Regional Policy Consultation
5:52 pm GMT+12, 13/03/2019, Cook Islands

 The Cook Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI) is hosting policy consultations being conducted by a visiting Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) Team on regional issues such as regional security arrangements under the Boe Declaration, the Pacific Resilience Facility, climate change and resilience, labour mobility, and the Post-Cotonou negotiations currently underway between the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) Group of countries and the European Union.  
 
The visiting PIFS team is PIFS Director of Governance and Engagement Sione Tekiteki, and Tasha Siaosi, the Smaller Island States Adviser.  
   
The consultations are being conducted in each of the 18 Pacific Forum member countries.  The visiting PIFS Team will also provide an update on a number of regional reviews currently underway including the Forum Review of Meeting Processes and the Mid-Term Review of the Smaller Island States (SIS) Strategy.
 
In 2018 Pacific Forum Leaders endorsed the regional security declaration known as the Boe Declaration. An action plan has since been drafted for the consideration of Forum member countries. The draft Action Plan provides a broad framework to assist Forum members implement the Boe Declaration and is intended to be a rolling (organic) plan with activities to be reviewed by Forum Members on an annual basis.  Once member states finalise the action plan and establish an appropriate governance mechanism, efforts will then be focused on the implementation of activities detailed in the plan.
 
Following the 2017 Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) and subsequent discussions at various meetings including in the margins of the 2017 World Bank annual meeting, Forum Economic Ministers supported the development of a Pacific Resilience Facility (PRF) and tasked the Forum Secretariat, with the guidance of a Technical Working Group (TWG) of the FEMM Troika supported by Fiji and New Zealand, to develop the PRF for their consideration at the 2018 FEMM. The key aim of the PRF is to assist Pacific countries to build resilience and through upfront investment in preparedness to natural disasters and climate change adaptation which would minimize future loss of lives, displacement of people and extensive economic losses.
 
According to Director Tekiteki, “the regional policy consultations have been designed to ensure that Members’ perspectives are captured and incorporated as part of the process of the development of Forum policy priorities and also allows the Secretariat to update members on the existing work of the Forum. We are pleased to be in Rarotonga to hear the Cook Islands’ perspectives and learn from the Cook Islands’ experience on an array of regional initiatives and greatly appreciate the support of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration in facilitating this process”.
 
The team from the Forum Secretariat will be in-country until the end of this week before returning to Fiji.
 
Queries regarding the consultations can be directed to MFAI SIS Officer Ewan Cameron on ewan.cameron@cookislands.gov.ck or Ph: 29347

SOURCE: COOK ISLANDS GOVT/PACNEWS


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