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Pacific Island Forum promises special care for smaller island states

02-10-2012 10:25 BJT

SUVA, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Suva-based Pacific Island Forum ended a four-day planning workshop here Friday, agreeing that special interests and development challenges of the forum's Smaller Island States (SIS) have always been accorded special treatment by its broader membership.

The forum's Secretary General Tuiloma Neroni Slade made the remarks in a speech to the workshop participants including desk officers of SIS and Pacific Plan, who have been appointed in the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. "Maintaining close collaboration and link to the Smaller Island States is critical to the work of the (forum) secretariat, as seen in the establishment of the SIS Program Unit," Slade said, adding under the unit, the key function of desk officers is to provide an essential link between the SIS and the secretariat through the SIS Program Unit. "The desk officers'role is to support the secretariat facilitate and coordinate, at the national level, the effective implementation of decisions of SIS and forum leaders under the Pacific Plan."

Commenting on the workshop on Friday, SIS desk officer in Kiribati David Teaabo said"The workshop demonstrates the connections of our work in liaising, networking, advocating, communicating and coordinating the Pacific Plan priorities." "It (the workshop) gives us an opportunity to learn more about what we can do to assist the forum secretariat and our national governments in the implementation of the Pacific Plan at the national level,"said Joseph Tirson, SIS desk officer in the Republic of Marshall Islands. "I see the workshop as an opportunity to discuss the 2011 forum leaders'communique and how we as Pacific Plan desk officers may be able to assist at the national level, with the implementation of the decisions," said Pacific Plan desk officer in Vanuatu Moana Matariki. "The workshop is a time to share best practices and knowledge that will benefit not only our own country but other Smaller Island States as we implement the priorities of the Pacific Plan," said Eni Hipa, SIS desk officer in Niue.

During the four-day workshop, the SIS/Pacific Plan desk officers were briefed on the activities of various programs at the forum secretariat and developed individual country work programs for 2012.

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: Xinhua

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