This week, six senior government officials from the Ministries of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Planning from the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and Kiribati completed their two weeks attachment with the Samoa Ministry of Finance.
The Pacific Forum Compact South-South attachments were undertaken from 26 January to 6 February, the third of its kind. This arrangement was agreed to by Forum Island Countries to support ongoing capacity building efforts across the region.
The officials from the RMI and Kiribati were particularly interested in linkages between Samoa’s national and sector development plans and their budgets, Samoa’s engagement with its development partners and how Official Development Aid (ODA) is reflected in their national budget.
“Samoa is very supportive of these peer learning exchanges as we share similar challenges and some have also found solutions relevant to our Pacific situations. We are honoured to host our Pacific neighbours and also thank them for this opportunity to re-look at and review our own systems and processes,” said Tupaimatuna Iulai Lavea, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ministry of Finance, Samoa.
During the two weeks attachment, the Officials from RMI and Kiribati have worked with Samoa’s Ministry of Finance to share their expertise, ideas and systems to support existing efforts to strengthen institutions and capacities for national prioritisation and resource allocation. The Officials also had a chance to meet with senior officials from the Samoa Bureau of Statistics, Samoa Chamber of Commerce and the Civil Society Support Programme. These attachments are part of recommendations from the 2010 and 2012 Peer Review reports of Kiribati and the RMI.
“Our Pacific leaders support these South-South peer exchanges because they allow for practical hands on learning and sharing of experiences suitable to our own Pacific context. We are very grateful to the Government of Samoa for continuing to demonstrate its leadership in supporting regional solutions to Pacific development needs by hosting this 3rd South-South attachment,” said Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. “I also commend the governments of the RMI and Kiribati for following through with the recommendations of their own peer review processes. The South-South attachment is about learning and sharing of knowledge in order to bring out best practises. This truly demonstrates the meaning of regional cooperation. I am also particularly encouraged to learn that the six officials are young professional Pacific women.”
RMI and Kiribati officials concluded their attachments with exit reports to the Government of Samoa this Friday and to their respective governments on their return. The Cook Islands will be the eighth Forum Island Country to undertake attachments in Samoa in July this year.