The meeting, attended by officials from the 18 Pacific Islands Forum members, is to discuss the agenda for the 49th Pacific Islands Forum to be held next month in Nauru.
Pacific Islands Forum secretary general Dame Meg Taylor said the meeting was to take stock of policy priorities that leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum agreed last year.
She said it was also to provide advice about the progress of these priorities, and opportunities for new actions by the Forum when leaders meet in three weeks’ time.
“The agenda has been informed by the deliberations of a number of different mechanisms within the Forum architecture, including the Specialist Sub-Committee on Regionalism, the newly established Sub-Committee on Forum Engagement and Advocacy, the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting, and the Forum Fisheries Council Meeting,” Dame Taylor told the members of the Forum Officials Committee.
“These mechanisms serve to offer specialist sources of advice and guidance on the different aspects of the Forum leaders’ policy agenda.
“This meeting also provides an opportunity to ensure that we all are connecting well with each other in progressing the policy priorities of our region. Achieving the objectives of the Framework for Pacific Regionalism requires the collective contribution of member countries and regional organisations.”
Dame Taylor said the meeting agenda included issues requiring the consideration of Forum Foreign Ministers and the Forum Leaders.
The review of the Forum’s security architecture was one of the key issues that had been the subject of significant work by the Secretariat this year.
Another important area of work has been on strengthening the Forum’s engagement and advocacy on the policy priorities agreed by leaders, Dame Taylor added.
In closing, she thanked Australia for chairing the Forum Officials Committee over the past 12 months.
“I warmly welcome Cook Islands as chair for this upcoming year. Please be assured that the Secretariat stands ready to assist you and all members as we advance our deliberations and preparations for the 2018 Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting.
“We are charged with the responsibility of providing advice to our leaders as to what more can be done to progress our region’s ambitions for peace and security, for sustainable development and economic growth. I know that we all will bring our focused attention and collective goodwill to discharge this serious responsibility.”
- Rashneel Kumar/Pacific Islands Forum