Bula and welcome to the THIRD PACIFIC ISLANDS DEVELOPMENT FORUM LEADERS’ SUMMIT (PIDF3). On behalf of the PIDF Conference Committee, we want to congratulate you on your decision to attend PIDF3. We anticipate over 300 delegates from over thirty countries participating at the region’s premier event. This Program has been developed to help you make the most of your conference experience.
PIDF3 will be historical as it will witness the promulgation of the PIDF Charter by the People of the Pacific that will formally establish the PIDF, as an international organization. PIDF3 will also formally launch under the PIDF Charter the regions first Regional Development Fund under the PIDF that will finance regional developments. It will also witness the appointment of the first permanent Secretary General of the PIDF.
PIDF3 will be pivotal in that it will be the final opportunity when the People of the Pacific will come together to discuss their stance in the critical 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) to be held in Paris later in the year. Key messages for Paris will be formulated and a Suva Declaration on Climate Change will be endorsed. This is a watershed moment for the Pacific that has enormous implications on the future we want.
The theme for the Summit is “Building Climate Resilient Green Blue Pacific Economies.” The theme recognizes that climate change is of critical strategic importance to the Pacific. It has the potential to hold back economic progress, or reverse the gains made in our development, exacerbate social and economic problems and even totally destroy some of our communities. In order to minimize the impacts and maximize our opportunities in the face of such challenges, it is important that we embark on a climate resilient trajectory to a green economy leading to zero carbon development.
The Summit therefore will look at the actions on climate change we will need to take to deliver multiple co-benefits for the well-being of our communities and economies. We will look at how we can safeguard biodiversity and ecosystems services; ensure food, water and energy security; and support future socio-economic development by becoming climate resilient.