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Regional Cooperation, Solidarity and Friendship a Winning Combination

Genuine consultations between governments, civil society groups and business communities are important ingredients in addressing the many challenges that the people of the Pacific face on a daily basis.

In opening the inaugural Pacific Islands Development Forum meeting, Fiji’s Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, stressed the need for a multi stakeholder approach in the process towards sustainable development for the Pacific.

“Until now, Ladies and Gentlemen, sovereign governments have largely determined how the Pacific will respond to its many challenges.”

“The small island territories, dependencies and protectorates haven’t had a direct say. And neither have civil society groups and businesses. The people most affected by government decisions – the grassroots and their representatives – have largely been excluded from the decision-making process.”

“We need to listen more to our people and the common sense towards problem-solving that comes with grassroots participation.”

“We need to listen more to our business communities, whose investment generates the jobs we need to raise living standards and improve the lives of our people.”

“So for the first time, we are bringing all these stakeholders together to discuss common solutions to our common problems in a practical and holistic way.”

Highlighting how the PIDF will provide the platform for more effective collaboration, Mr. Bainimarama reiterated the need for regional governments to act selflessly and recognise the urgency in the delivery of outcomes that are achievable, affordable and tailored to meet Pacific needs.

“As leaders, we must always put our people first,” he said.

“We are one ocean, one people, seeking common solutions. And so today we join hands with each other and with our development partners from outside the region to strive for a Green-Blue Pacific economy.”

“Now with the PIDF, we bring together a grand alliance of sovereign nations, territories and dependencies with the political will to implement change, civil society groups with the passion to drive change, and businesses that are job creators for our people.”

“This is a winning combination.”

The PIDF brings together governments, businesses and civil society leaders form the Pacific to secure the future of the Pacific through the blue/green economy approach.