Pacific Islands Forum
  • Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Political Groups
  • Name: Pacific Islands Forum
  • Submission Document: Download
Keywords: Water (1 hits),

Full Submission

Note: 11/11/03 ENV/2

The New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations presents its compliments to the Secretariat of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and has the honour to refer to the invitation from the Second Preparatory Committee to provide contributions by 1 November 2011 for inclusion in a compilation document that will serve as the basis for preparation of the zero draft of the Rio+20 outcome document.

New Zealand currently holds the Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum and wishes to submit the attached document as a contribution to the Rio+20 process on behalf of Pacific Islands Forum member states namely Australia, the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of Kiribati, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Nauru, the Republic of Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

The Permanent Mission would be grateful if this contribution could be attributed to Pacific Islands Forum states both on the Rio+20 website and in the compilation document.

The New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations takes this opportunity to renew to the Secretariat of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, the assurances of its highest consideration.

New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations


1 November 2011

The forthcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development 2012 (Rio+20) provides an opportunity to secure renewed political commitment to sustainable economic development. As Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, it is my honour to convey to you the themes that the Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum have highlighted as being of crucial importance, including in the context of the Rio+20 process.

Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum met in September 2011 under the theme of "converting potential into prosperity". The Leaders agreed the Waiheke Declaration on Sustainable Economic Development. The Waiheke Declaration is attached to this letter.

The Pacific Islands Forum would ask Rio+20 to note the Waiheke Declaration, and in particular, the pledges and commitments within it. The declaration is based on the premise that strengthened sustainable economic development is key to a better quality of life for all our peoples, and contains pledges and commitments related to the Rio+20 themes of the green economy and the institutional framework for sustainable development.

The Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' meeting Communique makes specific reference to the importance of oceans and fisheries as a key issue for the Rio+20 Conference.

Leaders reiterated the critical importance of ensuring the sustainable development, management and conservation of our ocean, noting the region's unique dependency on the Pacific Ocean as the basis for their livelihoods, food security and economic development. Leaders called for the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) to recognise the significant global value and contribution of the Pacific Ocean to sustainable development, acknowledging the stewardship of Pacific Island Countries.

Leaders further urged the international community to work towards integrated oceans management, using the Pacific Oceanscape as a model, with the aim of realising relevant international goals to contribute to the health and vitality of the ocean environment, including through the global network of marine protected areas agreed at Rio+10. Leaders also highlighted the threats to the ocean environment, including from ocean acidification, pollution, and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. To ensure that Rio+20 includes strong outcomes on the conservation and sustainable management of marine ecosystems and resources that reflect the needs of the Pacific region, Leaders also called for the maximisation of returns to Members from the conservation and sustainable management of ocean resources.

Finally, Pacific Forum Leaders and the United Nations Secretary General made a joint statement on 7 September 2011 which, inter alia,

Stressed the critical importance of the sustainable development, management and conservation of the region's oceans, coastal and fisheries resources as a source of livelihoods and income for communities, industries and governments, and of enabling Pacific SIDS to enjoy a greater share of the benefits derived from those resources. They called for such issues, often referred to as the 'Blue Economy', to figure prominently at next year's UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). They urged the international community to tackle threats to marine ecosystems and work towards integrated oceans management and a global network of marine protected areas.

It is the strong wish of Pacific Islands Forum Leaders that the Rio+20 process recognises and highlights the importance for our region of sustainable economic development as set out in the Waiheke Declaration, with particular focus on our productive sectors of fisheries, tourism and agriculture, and the importance of sectors such as transport, infrastructure, education and energy in providing the environment to achieve that potential. It is also the desire of Pacific Islands Forum Leaders that Rio+20 includes strong outcomes on oceans and fisheries, as set out in the Pacific Islands Forum Communique 2011 and in the Joint Statement of Pacific Island Forum leaders and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Yours sincerely

Rt Han John Key



We, the Leaders of the Pacific islands Forum. meeting in Auckland. New Zealand:

Acknowiedging with gratitude the foresight of Pacific Leaders who forty years ago "first met in Wellington, New Zealand, to establish what is today the Pacific Islands Forum involving sixteen independent member states of the Pacific region;

Recognising the vision of Leaders at that first meeting who strongly encouraged the development of regional cooperation as a valuable mechanism to assist in resolving issues of common concern affecting the daily lives of the peoples of the Pacific;

Celebrating the achievements accomplished through close and effective regional cooperation;

Realising the economic and social challenges we all face, including those arising from climate change, the increasing costs and insecurities of supply of daily necessities such as energy and food , and the impacts of urbanisation and natural disasters;

Expressing with appreciation the significant assistance received over the past four decades from the region's development partners:

Taking into account the strategic direction provided by the Pacific Plan for progressing the pillars of sustainable development and economic growth in the Pacific;

Acknowledging the importance of good governance and security, the other two pillars of the Pacific Plan. in helping to deliver sustainable economic development outcomes;

Reaffirming the importance of accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goais,

Highlighting the benefits of advancing development coordination involving Pacific Countries and development partners, as articulated in the Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Cooperation in the Pacific (Forum Compact):

Sharing our aspiration to create a prosperous, stable and secure Pacific for future generations;


Declare that strengthened sustainable econonlic development is key to a better quality of life for all our peoples:

Recommit ourselves to pursuing a goal of ensuring a sustainable economic envtronment for ali, so that all our peoples, tn particular the young who are the future of our societies, have opportunities for gainfuf employment and can iive healthy, productive and safe lives;

Recognise that sustainable economic development increases the resilience of communities, including their most vulnerable members.

Set out to transform the region's future by drawing on the Pacific's unique assets by collectively focusing our efforts on areas where we have an impact on our peoples' tong-term wel!being;

Recognise that despite challenges related to our smafl size and our relative isolation, we live in an ocean of opportunity, that immense potential rests in our productive sectors, particularly fisheries, tourism and agriculture, and that capitalising on this potential is crucial for the future of the Pacific and the livelihoods of its peoples;

Acknowledge the importance of sectors such as transport, infrastructure, education and energy in providing an environment in which the Pacific's potential can be realised;

Affirm the high importance of the private sector in helping realise the region's potential;

Acknowledge our responsibility to create an environment where business can thrive and contribute to the region's development;

Recognise the way in which regional and economtc integration can improve the prospect of stable, long-term economic growth in Pacific communities by creating jobs, enhancing private sector growth, and raising standards of living, through the freer flow of goods, services and investment within the Pacific;

Pledge to:

? Pursue improved sustainable returns to Pacific island economies from the abundant natural resources, particularly fisheries, availabie from the wealth of our shared Pacific Sea of Islands;

? Foster an environment that supports increased investment, productive activity and a strengthened private sector, particularly in relation to fisheries, agriculture and tourism, to generate income and employment;

? Empower the next generation by significantly improving chil.dren's access to quality basic education, so as to raise ifteracy and numeracy rates;

? Improve the health status of our peoples so that they can enjoy more productive and less troubied lives and to relieve the burden on Pacific economies;

? Conserve and manage fragile island Ecosystems which under-pin sustainable development and food and Water security within our region;

Commit ourseives specifically to:

? Improve energy security through greater efficiency measures and the promotion of clean and affordable energy, including renewabie energy;

? Address the persistent problem of illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing in the Pacific through enhancing the effectiveness of regional monitoring, control and surveillance activities;

? Promote the Pacine as an exciting and diverse tourism destination, and support the sector's ability to generate income and employment for its peoples;

? Raise educational standards and expand opportunities for acquiring technical and vocational skills relevant to job markets, especially for women, including through non-formal education and training provision;

? Increase opportunities for women to participate in the formal labour market and as entrepreneurs;

? Ensure the meaningfui engagement of civil society and Pacific island communities in the development process:

? Develop institutions that contribute to creatinq an enabling environment for private sector-led growth including by introducing appropriate regulatory and legal reforms;

? Reduce barriers to regional trade and investment in order to expand access to markets for Pacific businesses and focus on building the capacity of economies to benefit from the trade and investment opportunities that arise;

Continue strengthening public financial management and development coordination as a means to improve development effectiveness and to adequately prepare and ensure efficient managemeni of the influx of resources to address climate change:

? Invest in improved infrastructure;

? Support the development of niche, high value agricultural production and its links into global value chains, such as Fair Trade and organics;

Agree to strengthen the monitoring of progress against regkmal priorities:

Undertake to examine further ways in which we might enhance regional cooperation and integration, includinq through enhancing the effectiveness of shared institutions, in order to promote efficient delivery of regional public goods, and improved services, to our businesses and peoples;

Urge Pacific Regional Organisations to actively consider how their work programmes can contribute to economic growth and enhancement of the capacity of the productive sectors where applicable;

Call on our international partners to support, in a coordinated way, our endeavours by focusing their assistance on areas that directly and indirectly improve our ability to develop sustainable productive economies.

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