PACIFIC ISSUES FEATURED IN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN DILI, TIMOR LESTE

?Caption: Minister Kubuabola with Prime Minister of Timor Leste, H.E Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao. Photo: MINFO.

Fiji is participating at the “International Conference on the Post-2015 Development Agenda- Development for all: Stop conflict, build states and eradicate poverty” in East Timor.

The three day meet was officially opened today by the Prime Minister of Timor Leste, H.E Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao.

Preliminary roundtable discussions by Pacific leaders and government ministers began yesterday, where Fiji was represented by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola. In that meeting, Pacific leaders focused on issues that matter most to island states, with a view to formulate a development agenda for post-2015.

Amongst the issues discussed, five were identified as crucial to Pacific states. They are inclusive of economic growth, environmental (including climate change) and natural resource management, state effectiveness, peace and justice and improving social services.

Pacific Leaders also agreed to the need for an inclusive and cross-sectoral approach in identifying solutions of national priority includes the inclusion of women, youth, children, persons with disabilities and the elderly in discussions of national interest.

They also looked at the effects of climate change in particular for vulnerable states like Tuvalu and Kiribati and other low-lying island states. There was a call for cross-regional and sub-regional solidarity in addressing climate change to ensure our collective voice is heard on the global stage.

Improvements in social services like education and health were also discussed, as leaders agreed that although each island state varied in their provision of these essential services, it is important that they are prioritised.

Another issue that came out strongly was the need for Pacific states to take full ownership of their problems, identify root causes, in order to develop effective solutions to development challenges.

Today’s discussion would focus on the following five thematic areas:

1.???????? Identifying ways to accelerate progress towards meeting the MDGs by 2015;

2.???????? Highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the MDGs;

3.???????? Governance, state building and Development;

4.???????? Peace building through human security and personal safety; and

5.???????? Inclusive growth and Job Creation.

The outcome of this Conference is expected to be presented by Timor Leste’s Finance Minister- Ms. Emilia Pires, at the United Nations High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda in the second quarter of this year.