The Smaller Island States (SIS) on Friday adopted a new strategy that will address issues of particular importance to the group.
“This is a very important strategy for the Smaller Island States. We want sustainable development for our people and for the SIS to collectively play a dynamic role in shaping the direction of development in the broader Pacific region,” said the President of Palau and meeting Chair, Tommy E. Remengesau Jr, in a statement.
Leaders and representatives of Smaller Island States (SIS) get ready to sign the communique, June 24 at the Palau Royal Resort (PRR). Photo by Bernadette H. Carreon
Palau hosted the first SIS meeting last week and the strategy aims to address the unique vulnerabilities of the group comprising of Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, The Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Tuvalu.
The five key areas that will be prioritized by the group will be on climate change, labor mobility, health, marine, and air and sea transportation.
On Climate change, leaders stated that it's a priority “in particular strengthening access to and delivery on climate financing . It also calls for a scoping of prospects for a regional climate fund to accelerate and expand funding options in future.
The leaders calls for a response to the Pacific’s top killer- non-communicable diseases. The group will work with the NCD Roadmap, which will concentrate effort towards enforcing controls, sustainable financing, policy and legislation development, and enhanced awareness and education campaigns.
For Marine, the leaders said agreed that strategy focuses on several key marine issues including implementation of the Roadmap for Sustainable Fisheries, expanded surveillance to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and increased research to better understand and preserve the ocean and its resources.
Air and sea transportation services strategy will be concentrated on efforts on constructive political dialogue to secure fair and equitable air service agreements.
The meeting also included key development partnersand Council of Regional Organizations of the Pacific (CROP) agencies to help secure funding and expertise for the priorities.
“Endurable and genuine partnerships are critical to the success of this strategy and we are pleased with the generous offers of support and assistance that have been made by our partners during this week,” said President Remengesau.
The strategy will be presented to the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) leaders in the annual meeting slated in September in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).