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[Pacific Plan Review 2013] Republic of Palau: a unique Pacific perspective

PRESS STATEMENT 22/13

Thursday 16 May 2013

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CAPTION: Representatives of the Pacific Plan Review Team meet with Vice President of the Republic of Palau, Hon. Antonio Bells, accompanied by the Hon. Baklai Temengil, Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs and Hon. Umiich Sengebau, Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism.

Consultations between the Government of the Republic of Palau and the Pacific Plan Review Team held on Friday 10 May highlighted the need for the Plan and regional organizations to remain relevant to the needs of smaller island states and those geographically distant from southern Pacific Members.

‘The Pacific Plan needs to reflect the real needs of Palau’, stated the Hon. Antonio Bells, Vice President of the Republic of Palau.  This point was reinforced by the Hon. Elbuchel Sadang, Minister of Finance and by government officials who suggested that the Pacific Plan had too many priorities and it was difficult to link benefits from the Plan back to the development needs of Palau.

Officials also highlighted that Palau was geographically distant from Member States and regional organizations in the southern Pacific, and viewed sub-regional approaches with other Micronesian states as more effective at times.

CAPTION: Mr Robert Igara, Special Adviser to the Right Hon Sir Mekere Morauta, listens carefully to the views expressed by Ms Hila Asanuma, Chief of Multilateral Affairs in the Ministry of State, during consultations with Government Ministries.

In discussions with the private sector and civil society, the question was asked whether the Pacific Plan should better articulate a distinct Pacific pathway to development, reflecting the region’s unique political, social and cultural values.  The Team also heard of the importance of reflecting the development aspirations of all people, such of those represented by the Omekasang Association, an organization working for the benefit of people living with disabilities.

CAPTION: The Pacific Plan Review Team meeting with the Omekasang Association.

The Review Team will be holding consultations with a range of stakeholders in Fiji in the week commencing 13 May, prior to presenting their initial findings to a workshop on 27 May and a special session of the Pacific Plan Action Committee on 28 May.  A final report will be provided to the Leaders’ meeting to be held in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands in early September 2013.

(Ends)

For further information and media enquiries please email PacificPlanMedia@forumsec.org.fj

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