Call for a review of the ‘regional architecture’ to address the needs of Forum Members


By Pita Ligaiula

With so many regional plans, strategies, frameworks – and now the 2050 Strategy, some Pacific countries are concerned with very less implementation and benefits flowing to member countries.

There are now calls to review the ‘regional architecture’ to make regional organisations ‘fit for purpose’.

The issue was raised at last week’s Forum Economic Minister Meeting (FEMM) in Suva.

Forum deputy Secretary General Esala Nayasi in his address to senior government officials in Suva last week admitted the need for the Secretariat to rationalise, prioritise and streamline their deliverables.

“We have heard the concerns on the proliferation of regional strategies and frameworks and the need to focus on implementation of existing policies.

“We have also discussed the need to see the clear alignment between national development plans and regional policies, including the regional governance framework which we hope the Review of the Regional Architecture will address,” Nayasi told senior officials who were in Suva to support their Economic Ministers.

Speaking at the Forum Economic Ministers meeting, Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown and Pacific Islands Forum chair said the delivery of the 2050 Strategy and implementation plan will guide members and the Forum Secretariat to manage regional development and dynamics.

“The 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent launched last year sets the blueprint for us in how we as a region now move forward to address issues around prosperity of our countries, welfare our people, and protection of our countries from the threats of climate change.
“My job now as Chair of the Forum this year, is to look at the implementation plan or how we are going to achieve that strategy. There are a number of initiatives that have already been provided by the Forum Secretariat team in that regard.

“We will by the time of our Leaders meeting in November have a number of concrete implementation actions that we will able to announce in November,” Brown told PACNEWS

Brown said the review of the ‘regional architecture’ is to try and make sure that regional organisations better serves the needs of member countries.

“Emerging out of COVID, there is a need for regional organisations to be more efficient and more effective. There is a call again for a review of our regional architecture to try and make sure that it is now ‘fit for purpose’ for our Pacific Island countries. What it was when many of these organisational structures were in place a number of years ago, may not be fit for purpose now.

“So it’s always good to go back and have a review of how the organisation is working. There are a number of new initiatives that are currently under consideration. We hope these will lead to a much more effective, efficient regional organisation to better address the needs of our members and to better implement the plan to meet our 2050 strategies,” PM Brown told PACNEWS