Solomon Islands will be hosting the Pacific Blue Economy Conference of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) this year.
Preparations for this conference to be held in Honiara was discussed in the meeting between the PIDF Chair, Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare and the Secretary General of the PIDF, Mr Francois Martel at the PIDF Headquarters in Suva, Fiji, yesterday.
Prime Minister Sogavare and Mr Martel capitalised on the opportunity of the former’s visit to Suva for the second leg of his second MSG Capitals’ tour to meet and discuss operational matters of the PIDF including the upcoming Blue Economy Conference to be hosted by Solomon Islands in August.
The conference will follow on from the 5th PIDF annual conference this year which will be also hosted by Solomon Islands as the current holder of the PIDF Chairmanship.
Mr Martel told the PIDF Chair and his delegation to the meeting which includes Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Fiji, His Excellency Patteson Oti, Secretary to the MSG Chair who also serves as Secretary to the PIDF Chair, Mr Rence Sore, Solomon Islands High Commission Counsel in Fiji, Mr Tony Kabasi and Solomon Islands Government seconded officer to the MSG Secretariat Political Office, Mr Fe’iloakitau Kaho Tevi that the PIDF Secretariat will roll on with preparations for both the 5th PIDF annual summit and the Blue Economy Conference as soon as the dates for these meetings are finalised
“We have the concept papers, draft programme and have the tentative list of invitees from around the world already in place and are just awaiting the finalisation of the meeting dates in consultation with the Solomon Islands Government to get the preparatory work rolling. Several funding proposals are being prepared for interested development partners.
Mr Martel said the Blue Economy Conference will bring together the civil society and private sector representatives, policy-makers, academics, researchers and scientists to focus on the latest innovations, lessons learned, best practices and private-public partnerships to influence policies for sustainable management and conservation of ocean resources for the Pacific islands.
“This conference is a call for action on the key emerging issues challenging the sustainable management and conservation of the Pacific ocean and the resources therein.
Leaders of PIDF member countries approved the proposal to host the high-level Economy Conference in 2017 in order to provide the Pacific region with a platform to support the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 which emphasises conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources.
The PIDF Secretary-General also flagged the idea of the current PIDF Chair to start thinking of and consulting fellow PIDF Leaders about a suitable candidate for the PIDF chairmanship when the latter’s two year chairmanship tenure lapses in 2018.
In response, the PIDF Chair expressed appreciation for the PIDF Secretariat’s preparation for this year’s annual PIDF Summit and Pacific Blue Economy Summit and assured the Secretary General of the PIDF of the Solomon Islands Government commitment towards ensuring the success of these meetings.
He also expressed appreciation for the trust and confidence the PIDF Secretariat placed in his chairmanship over the regional organisation and according him the honour of leading the consultation process for a successor PIDF Chair.
The PIDF Chair stated that he would like to ensure that the PIDF fully operates in compliance with its founding mandates and functions when he hands over the chairmanship upon the completion of his two year term in office.