By Michelle Amba – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The 46th Pacific Islands Forum has concluded with the release of a 41-point communiqué.
The highlight of the document was the Pacific’s stance on the West Papua issue, as well as various points regarding the region’s position of climate change.
The endorsement of Hiri Declaration was one of the outcomes of the forum, aimed at strengthening connections to enhance Pacific regionalism.
Prime Minister’s of Australia and New Zealand joined other forum leaders in deliberations on climate change, ICT, cervical cancer, f,isheries and West Papua.
French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Tokelau attended the formal sessions as Associate Members while Timor Leste attended at as an observer.
The leaders have welcomed the progress made in the implementation of the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, including the establishment of a specialist sub-committee on regionalism.
A highlight of the conference was the construction of a Pacific Island Forum Leaders Declaration on Climate Change Action, a declaration aimed at amplifying the Pacific voice to influence the Paris outcome.
The chair, Peter O’Neill, said, “The leaders have recognised the importance of amplifying the Pacific voice at all avenues possible with a view to influence the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference and note the positions of the regions as expressed in other declarations in the recent past”.
On fisheries, the leaders have agreed that a joint taskforce lead by appropriate agencies would lead the development of the regional roadmap for sustainable pacific fisheries, and directed an increase is achievable within the next five years.
Forum Leaders also recognised Indonesia’s sovereignty over Papuan provinces, but have noted concerns about the human rights situation.
Thus, they requested the Chair to convey the views of the forum to the Indonesian Government and to consult on a fact-finding mission.
It is now confirmed that the Federated States of Micronesia will host next year’s meeting, while Samoa will host in 2017, Nauru in 2018 and Tuvalu in 2019.
Pacific Island Forum Leaders Declaration on Climate Change Action