Pacific Islands Forum Chair and Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark has bluntly told heads of the Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific(CROP) the Leaders will rely on their leadership for the implementation of the 2050 strategy.

While addressing the CROP Heads Meeting in Rarotonga, PM Brown said while Leaders carry the aspirations of collective action in the Pacific, the very realisation of this vision lies with ‘you – our regional agencies’.

“You who are privileged with the role of advising, developing and implementing our collective decisions and instructions.

“It is not a task that can be or should be taken lightly.

“As a region, we have come together to develop the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. We have, with your support, articulated the regional collective actions that now make up the 2050 Strategy Implementation Plan. We will now rely on your leadership to ensure that these priorities are implemented and progressed in the coming years.

Let me be clear – the 2050 Strategy is not and will not sit on a shelf to gather dust.

If it is to truly guide our collective aspirations, it will require dedicated and consistent support to implement and this is something we cannot do alone as countries,” he told the heads of CROP.

He said CROP agencies are vital to the realisation of their collective vision in the 2050 strategy.

“Our collective expectations of the CROP are simple: coordination, collaboration and delivery of our regional priorities.

“We can all appreciate the complexities and hurdles to achieving these, but it is now imperative that we work towards meeting these three objectives.

“The continued refinement and reform of our CROP system is a vital and necessary first step to ensure that each of our agencies, and the network as a whole is fit for purpose to deliver on the 2050 IP and the Review of the Regional Architecture will be critical to our efforts to ensure that this is the case. but as we are all too familiar in the Pacific, the effectiveness of our systems depends on the personalities who lead these very systems – in essence our Heads of CROP agencies,” PM Brown explained.

He said the effective delivery of the 2050 Strategy and its Implementation Plan requires all of them to forge new and innovative ways of working together.

“But also requires us to strengthen how we currently interact, how we prioritise and how you as CROP agencies work with one another.

“It requires effective resource mobilisation and policy alignment. It requires strategic and effective partnerships, predictable financing, and ‘fit for purpose’ systems and capabilities at both regional and national levels.

At the political level, Cook Islands hopes that with the endorsement of the Pacific Partnerships for Prosperity, this will provide a political prioritisation mechanism that is driven by Members to chorale new financing and partnerships,” he said.

PM Brown said the Forum do not want to see more proliferation of regional strategies and frameworks.

“We need to see a greater focus on the implementation of existing strategies and we also need to see the clear alignment between regional strategies to our national development plans; greater alignment between the decisions of our regional governing councils; and greater alignment in how we engagement in the global arena, said the Forum chair.