To secure the Blue Pacific Continent by 2050, and build on existing priorities, Pacific Island Leaders of the Blue Pacific have concluded its 51st Pacific Islands Forum meeting with a Strategy.
Its aim is to be shaped by the region’s historical, current and evolving context and identifies where and how the countries and territories of the region will work together as the Blue Pacific Continent and in partnership with all regional stakeholders.
In the 2050 report released after the PIFs meeting states that the strategy emphasises that the Blue Pacific is about Pacific peoples, their faiths, cultural values, and traditional knowledge. People who know their needs and potential; plan and own their development agenda; and act collectively for the good of all.
“The global COVID-19 pandemic and global security challenges placed tremendous social and economic stress on the people of the Pacific, who already contend with the impacts of climate change, frequency of disasters and the increasing number of people suffering from non-communicable diseases.
“While the region continues to face challenges related to the sustainability and security of its ocean and landbased resources, these other issues are creating widening fiscal deficits.”
The 2050 Strategy is our opportunity to engage with and shape the most significant dynamics and influences on our region, in order to secure our long-term wellbeing and prosperity.
“Through the Strategy, we will ensure we are resilient and ‘future-ready’ by being able to anticipate, prepare for and respond to hazardous climate events, geopolitical and security trends, and other unanticipated shocks.”
The leaders have pledged to do the following:
i. To nurture collective political will and deepen regionalism and solidarity, we will invest in leadership development, diplomatic capacity and relationship building at all levels and pursue our national interests mindful of our agreed collective regional priorities. We will also endeavour to resolve our challenges and disputes in our own unique Pacific Way.
ii. To collectively deliver for our people, we will ensure that the Pacific Islands Forum and wider regional architecture is coherent and effective, and that they deliver on our collective strategic priorities. Further, we will ensure that they allow for the inclusion and engagement of the private sector; civil society; media; academia; community; cultural and faith-based organisations; development partners; and other equally valuable constituencies.
iii. To embed our Blue Pacific identity, we will embrace our cultural diversities, respect our national sovereignties, and protect our collective interests. We will honour and reflect our rich values and traditions by acting as the Blue Pacific Continent to position our region with our partners as well as in global negotiations and processes.
iv. To secure the wellbeing of our people, we will work together to strengthen national and regional efforts to ensure all Pacific peoples benefit from enhanced provision of education, health and other services. To achieve this, we will place emphasis on learning from each other, drawing on scientifically-based research and traditional knowledge as well as promoting human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of all people.
v. To protect our people and our place we will have a more flexible and responsive regional security system that acknowledges the breadth of issues impacting peace and security in our region, and the contribution the region makes in international fora to progressing global peace and security.
vi. To accelerate our economic growth aspirations, we will invest our shared expertise to quantify and determine the full value of our people, oceanic and land-based natural resources. Where appropriate, we will use this value as the basis of our negotiations regarding access to these resources.
vii. To guarantee the future of our children, we will urgently advocate as a collective to reduce and prevent the causes and impacts of climate change and sea level rise; we will call for stronger global commitment to combat climate change; we will continue to pursue innovative measures to address climate change impacts and disaster risk; and with the support of our partners, we commit to ensuring net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
viii. To secure a future for our people, we will deepen our collective responsibility and accountability for the stewardship of the Blue Pacific Continent and protect our sovereignty and jurisdiction over our maritime zones and resources, including in response to climate change induced sea level rise, and strengthen our ownership and management of our resources.
ix. To protect our ocean and environment, we commit to safeguarding the integrity of our natural systems and biodiversity through conservation action and by minimising activities that degrade, pollute, overexploit, or undermine our ocean and natural environment.
x. To ensure a well-connected region, we commit to invest in and strengthen our partnerships and regional regulatory arrangements to support transport and information, communication and technology services and infrastructure.