Symposium on Managing Extractive Industries in Pacific Island States to Improve Human Development Set to Start

[Suva- March 14] Government representatives from around the Pacific region will meet in Nadi, Fiji next week to discuss managing extractive industries to enhance human development.

The “Pacific Symposium on Managing Extractive Industries in Pacific Island States to Improve Human Development” will be attended by senior government officials from Cook Islands; Fiji; Papua New Guinea (PNG), including the Autonomous Region of Bougainville; Solomon Islands; Tonga; Vanuatu; Timor-Leste; and Nauru. They will be joined by representatives and experts from outside the region as well as representatives from extractive industry firms already operating in the Pacific, regional agencies as well as non-government organisations.

The Pacific symposium is a follow-up to the international conference ?Avoiding the Resource Curse: Managing Extractive Industries for Human Development,? held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in 2011 and co-hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Mongolia. Representatives from Fiji and PNG attended this conference.

?UNDP is organizing the symposium in response to expressed interest from several Pacific Island governments. The Pacific Symposium will ensure that some of the issues raised at the international conference can be discussed in more detail – and within the context of the challenges that face Pacific small islands states,? said Garry Wiseman, the Manager of the UNDP Pacific Centre.

?UNDP is hoping that the symposium will lead to a focused discussion on the proper management of extractive industries that considers all aspects: social, economic and environmental of both on shore and off shore operations. Tapping into its reservoir of experience in facilitating critical development discussions, UNDP has developed an agenda for the symposium that encompasses the many challenges and opportunities for Pacific Governments and communities in pursuing extractive industries in small island states settings?.

The Pacific Symposium will take place in Nadi from March 18 ? 20. Fiji?s Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests; Minister for Provincial Development and National Disaster Management, Hon Inia Seruiratu will officially welcome participants while Nicholas Rosellini, UNDP Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Regional Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific will deliver the key note address.

PRESS RELEASE