Republic of Korea, 24 October 2013:?The relationship between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Pacific Island countries (PICs) has been further strengthened this week at the?2nd?Korea-Pacific Islands Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) in Seoul, Korea.
Senior Officials representing the?ROK, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia,?Nauru,?Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) highlighted the need to intensify cooperation in the fields of climate change, development cooperation, marine and fisheries management.
On climate change, senior officials stressed the importance of implementing the recently adoptedMajuro?Declaration on Climate Leadership, by Pacific Island Forum Leaders and other global efforts to reduce carbon gas emissions. They also?recognised?the?ROK?s?efforts to maintain a key role in global climate change efforts, including the launching of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Officials agreed to continue efforts to address climate change through the early operation of?GCF.
In the area of development cooperation, the?ROK?and the?PICs?agreed that a more targeted and mutually accountable regional partnership is needed to be developed between them. One that is spelt out in clear terms the specific areas of?ROK?s?assistance and the level of assistance needed to support its implementation.
This is a significant step in the right direction for?ROK-PICs?relations especially with regard to measuring effective development partnerships. It was also acknowledged that the scope of development cooperation needed to be broadened beyond Overseas Development Assistance with consideration of the promotion of private sector engagement, trade and investment and greater access to climate change financing as central to supporting cooperation between?ROK?and?PICs.
The Pacific Ocean remained an issue of significant and equal importance to the?ROK?and Pacific Island Countries alike. As a mutually beneficial resource it was acknowledged that there was scope for?PICsand?ROK?to collaborate in the field of marine resource management, marine scientific research and technology, capacity building, tourism, energy, and deep-sea minerals.
The meeting?emphasised?the importance of maintaining environmental integrity while pursuing the sustainable development of natural resources including support for increasing?PICs??capacity and surveillance on Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated (IUU) fisheries in the Pacific.
PIC?representatives expressed their gratitude for the Korean government?s assistance in enhancing the public health and medical services in the region through the Primary Health Care Training Program under the 2011-2013?ROK-PIF?Cooperation Fund allocation
As part of meeting its commitments under the 2011?ROK-PICs?Ministerial Joint Statement, the?ROKreinforced its intent to reach the USD 1 million annual allocation in the next funding cycle ? 2014-2016.
The meeting is expected to help expand the?ROK?s?diplomatic horizon and build a stronger foundation for cooperation between the two sides by contributing to PIC?s sustainable development and fight against climate change.