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REGIONAL CONSULTATION UNDERWAY ON PIDF AGREEMENT

The governing instrument establishing the PIDF is currently being discussed in a major meeting currently underway at the University of the South Pacific in Suva. In addition the meeting is also discussing the appointment of a successor for Mr Feleti Teo the current Secretary General of the PIDF who is leaving to head another regional Organisation.

The Senior Officials Committee chaired by Mr Esala Naiyasi the acting Permanent a Secretary for Foreign Affairs, is charged with the operational oversight of the PIDF. It is meeting on a one day workshop to hear the report of its Consultant Dr Michael O’Keefe of La Trobe University who has been commissioned to prepare the draft PIDF Agreement. Using the USP ICT Center the meeting is also drawing in participation from the region who are participating from off shore.

The draft PIDF Agreement will set out the long term institutional and organisational arrangements for PIDF. The Terms of Reference for the development of the PIDF Agreement was approved by the PIDF Leaders Council and the PIDF Summit. As part of the terms of reference a Legal Consultant Dr Michael O’Keefe has been appointed to coordinate and facilitate the process to develop the PIDF Agreement. The process as anticipated by the TOR is to be broadly participatory and consultative ensuring that all the relevant stakeholders contribute to the development of the PIDF Agreement.

The meeting is considering three papers Dr Michael O’Keefe has prepared to facilitate the preparation of the PIDF Agreement namely;

a. PIDF Consultation and Outreach Strategy;

b. PIDF Institutional Structure; and

c. PIDF Funding Options.

Speaking on the meeting Mr Feleti Teo said:

“The PIDF Agreement will operationalize the vision expressed in the first two PIDF Summits. The background context within which this process is occurring is captured by the Rio+20 Future We Want and SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (Samoa Pathway) outcomes documents sustainable development: “can only be achieved with a broad alliance of people, governments, civil society and private sector, all working together to secure the future we want for present and future generations.” (Future We Want, para.14 and Samoa Pathway, para 1) Following this meeting a public consultation throughout the Pacific will take place together with two regional workshops with representatives from throughout the Pacific before the final Agreement is presented to the Third PIDF Summit in August this year.We acknowledge with appreciation the assistance by USP in facilitating this consultation through their ICT Center”

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