Financing for Development Solutions is the focus when the Economic Ministers of the Pacific Islands Forum meet in Suva this week.
Forum Economic Ministers will consider a range of regional finance options that will support the sustainable development aspirations of the region which are captured in the sustainable Development Goals and the Framework for Pacific Regionalism.
Ministers will look at the current development landscape in the Pacific and assess the viability of a regional finance facility, something they called for following their last meeting in 2015 in the Cook Islands. Policies to address climate change and disaster related finance will also be two important areas of discussion and decision.
“Finance plays a critical role in meeting our development challenges and there are innovative ideas on the table for Ministers to discuss.” said the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Dame Meg Taylor. “Financing options are critical considerations because they determine how effective development fundamentals like our investment in people, institutions, technology and infrastructure can be.”
Reinforcing the Forum’s commitment to greater inclusivity in regional policy development, for the first time this year the Ministers will engage in a joint dialogue with representatives of regional private sector and civil society organisations.
“We need genuine partnership between governments, private sector, civil society and development partners to build resilient and sustainable economies. These partners have critical and complementary roles to play in achieving better development outcomes for the people of the Pacific. The Forum Secretariat is committed to providing a platform for constructive dialogue to take place and facilitate the coordination of considered policy advise,“ said the Secretary General.
On Tuesday April 4, the Forum Secretariat and the World Bank will co-host a discussion on the scale up of International Development Association assistance and definition of “fragility” and its implication for the Pacific, something the Forum is seeking to do as it can impact the regions ability to secure additional development finance. This follows extensive discussions between the Forum Secretariat and the World Bank in response to Forum Leaders’ call last year for a re-defining of fragility to include climate change induced vulnerability.
In addition, there will be an opportunity for public engagement in the regional economic debate.
On Thursday April 6th the Forum Secretariat and University of the South Pacific will co-host a panel discussion looking at Income Inequality in the Pacific, moderated by the Vice Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Rajesh Chandra.