TONGA PM VISITS PIDF HQ
The Prime Minister of Tonga His Excellency Lord Siale’ataonga TU’IVAKANO met the Secretary General for the Pacific Island Development Forum Mr Feleti Teo at the PIDF HQ this morning.
The Prime Minister is in Suva to attend the Pacific Leaders Meeting with the visiting Prime Minister of India His Excellency Narendra Modi. Accompanying the Prime Minister to the PIDF were Tongan Officials that included Mr Aholotu Palu, Interim Chief Secretary to Cabinet, Mr Vainga Tone, Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and Mrs Amelia Taufa, PA to the PM.
This is the first visit to the PIDF HQ by Prime Minister TU’IVAKANO and the second visit to the Secretariat by a Head of Government from the Pacific.[ The first Pacific PM to visit the PIDF Secretariat was the Prime Minister of Tuvalu Hon Enele Sopoaga who visited last month on Friday, October 17, 2014.]
His Excellency Lord TU’IVAKANO is not new to the PIDF. He was one of the Pacific Leaders that attended the Second PIDF Summit in Nadi last June.
Tonga also is one of the founding countries that had originally approved the establishment of the PIDF when Pacific Leaders had gathered in Fiji in 2012 under the umbrella of the ENGAGEMENT WITH THE PACIFIC and was also represented at the Inaugural PIDF Summit in 2013.
During the briefing this morning the PIDF updated the Prime Minister on major activities before the PIDF. This included the preparation of the PIDF Agreement to be signed by Pacific Leaders at the Third PIDF Summit in August next year 2015:
“The Agreement will prescribe the long term institutional arrangements for the Pacific Islands Development Forum.”
“In developing the PIDF Agreement the Secretariat is being guided by the decision of the Leaders of the Pacific in the June Summit that an inclusive and participatory process be followed that ensures inputs from of all stakeholders of PIDF.”
“Accordingly two regional workshops are planned where all public sector, private sector and civil society stakeholders from the Pacific will have the opportunity to closely scrutinize the draft Agreement before the final text is presented to the Third PIDF Summit in August next year 2015.”
The Secretariat also updated the Prime Minister on how the Pacific Leaders vision that the PIDF build a united, distinctive and sustainable Pacific society is being implemented through its multi-year work program:
“The three Outputs of our work program reflect the priority areas where PIDF hopes to achieve key results, namely leadership, innovation and partnership. These are also the three areas that PIDF leaders recognized as the key components that are required for sustainable development and poverty eradication in the 2013 PIDF Summit Outcomes.”
“The PIDF is pleased at how these are being translated on the ground through our recent participation in key regional and international processes such as the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States in Samoa in September, the Forty-fourth meeting of the Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA) of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) last week etc.”
“An important priority in the development of our Work Program was to ensure that the ten commitments made by leaders in the Inaugural Summit in 2013 to achieve green-blue Pacific economies are appropriately addressed. Many of these commitment areas are the direct focus of planned outputs and activities to be pursued by the PIDF in the next 3 years.”
“The Leaders of the Pacific in our last two PIDF Summits have agreed to pursue a development pathway that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.”
“We are committed to support that vision in all our activities with the support of our partners.”
PIDF SG Teo & Prime Minister TU’IVAKANO
Tongan Official, Mr Aholotu Palu, Interim Chief Secretary to Cabinet,
Mr Vainga Tone, Secretary for Foreign Affairs,
PIDF Secretary General Teo & Prime Minister TU’IVAKANO
Prime Minister TU’IVAKANO presenting a gift to SG Teo