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Cook Islands views sought on the Pacific’s future
04:32 am GMT+12, 11/09/2020, Cook Islands

The Cook Islands will play an active role in charting the future of our Blue Pacific over the next 30 years.
 
This will be as part of a region-wide initiative endorsed in 2019 by Pacific Island Forum (PIF) Leaders, including Prime Minister Henry Puna, calling for the development of a 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.
 
As a first step in developing the regional Strategy, the Cook Islands and other PIF member countries will articulate ‘drivers of change’; that is, emerging issues or trends that could have significant and multiple impacts on the region’s ability to achieve the region’s 2050 Vision. In brief, the Vision sees the Blue Pacific Continent as “a region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and increased prosperity so that all Pacific peoples are leading free, healthy and productive lives”.
 
Across our region, consultations are underway to seek the views of Pacific peoples on the most important drivers of change. Three consultation sessions will be held in Rarotonga next week from 15 – 17 to solicit the views of our people on social, environmental and economic and technological drivers of change.
 
Coordinating the national consultations is Te Kauono Tutara e te Mana Tiaki – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI).  
 
Speaking about the national consultations,Tepaeru Herrmann, Secretary of MFAI, observed that “the future of the Cook Islands is closely related to the future of our Pacific region and it is important for us to ensure that regional priorities, resource allocation and efforts to achieve the 2050 Vision incorporate our national interests and priorities as much as possible. For that reason, these national consultations on the 2050 strategy are timely as the Cook Islands are currently working on a successor to Te Kaveinga Nui - the National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP) as well as our first-ever national security policy.”
 
Invited to participate in next weeks “Drivers of change” consultations will be representatives of Government ministries and agencies, the private sector and non-governmental organisations and civil society.
 
“While we are under time, financial and human resources constraints for these consultations, we wanted to ensure that a representative cross-section of our community had the opportunity in this first stage to contribute to development of the regional 2050 Strategy to engage in focused discussions on drivers of change,” Herrmann explained.  
 
“On the basis of next week’s consultations we will be able to pursue our interests in future development of the regional Strategy, including through further national consultations in the coming months as may be necessary,” she added.

SOURCE: COOK ISLANDS FOREIGN MINISTRY/PACNEWS


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