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New Forum Group Harnesses Diversity

New Forum Group Harnesses Diversity


Suva, FIJI, 10 April 2015 -- Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, is looking forward to hosting the seven distinguished individuals making up an important new sub-committee on the new Framework for Pacific Regionalism.

Secretary General Taylor said "The sub committee members bring a wide range of skills and experience to our work and will make it easier for Pacific Leaders to make informed decisions on the most pressing priorities for developing the region."

Ms Teresa Manarangi-Trott of the Cook Islands, she pointed out, was a founding member of the Pacific Islands Private SectorOrganisation: "She has experience in strategic priority setting and high-level advisory work, and knowledge of economic management, public policy and sustainable development."

Ms Manarangi-Trott said she was keen to encourage the subcommittee to maintain a balance between the bigger and the smaller island states: "Small Island States have many challenges and needs and the sub-Committee will ensure equal treatment with larger island priorities".

Another sub committee member, Mr William Kostka of the Federated States of Micronesia, she recalled, "is Co-Founder of the Conservation Society of Pohnpei and the Micronesia Conservation Trust. He has served as Coordinator of both the Pacific Islands Managed and Protected Areas Community (PIMPAC) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature Marine Program."

Mr Kostka, who has a strong background in non-profit management, conservation financing, and civil society-government relations, said he was looking forward to add his experience to the work of the subcommittee: “In addition to serving and representing the views of civil society on the SSCC, my main interest is to assist the PIFS and our Pacific island leaders develop and/or strengthen regional, national and local sustainable financing mechanisms that support resources management efforts in our region.”

From the private sector, Mr Peter Kiely of New Zealand is Chairman of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation, an independent partnership between the private and public sectors in New Zealand and Pacific Island countries. Mr Kiely welcomes the opportunity to participate in the sub-committee:

"This is a wonderful opening for the private sectors of our region to be directly involved in the new process for setting regional priorities that will lift the economic development of the Pacific islands."

Mr. Leonard Louma a Consultant to the Papua New Guinean Department of Foreign Affairs brings to the Subcommittee work a lengthy and highly commended public service career which included regional integration policy implementation, strategic priority setting and regional development. Mr. Louma's diplomatic service included postings to Papua New Guinea’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, and Embassies in Paris and Beijing. Mr. Louma also served as Papua New Guinea’s Roving Ambassador to APEC, ASEAN and ESCAP.

The Framework for Pacific Regionalism he welcomed as "a process to strengthen efforts at regional cooperation and integration aimed at better addressing development challenges faced by Pacific Island countries. I am humbled to be part of a Team in this historical process which manifests a fundamental shift in the prevailing development paradigm in our region. I am convinced the process puts development decisions firmly in the hands of Pacific Island leaders and the potential benefits squarely in the laps of Pacific Island peoples.”

Other subcommittee members are Mr Lopeti Senituli, Mr John Davidson, Mr August Aitaro and chairman, Dame Meg Taylor.

ENDS

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