Tuesday, 1 December 2009 5:56 AM

Workshop Ends with Better Understanding of Cairns Compact

Media Release - A regional workshop on the Cairns Compact held in Nadi, Fiji, 26 - 28 November has resulted in a greater understanding of the scope and implications of the Compact endorsed by Forum Leaders at their meeting in Cairns last August.

"It was agreed during the workshop that the responsibility to implement the key deliverables of the Compact, is a shared responsibility between the Secretariat, Forum member countries, development partners, regional and international agencies and other related stakeholders," said Feleti Teo, Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

"The workshop has provided clearer guidance and directions to the Secretariat in the implementation and coordination of the implementation of the Compact. I also believe that the participants are in a clearer position as to their anticipated roles and contributions to the successful implementation of the Compact," said Mr Teo.

Mr Teo added: "I wish to commend the Forum member countries, development partners, CROP agencies and other regional and international agencies for indication during the workshop of their support for the work of implementing the deliverables of the Compact."

Delegates at the workshop considered it important that which ever mechanism was used to channel the deliverables of the Cairns Compact, it must have the appropriate national representation. Some delegates also reiterated the need to avoid a 'one size fits all' approach especially for the Smaller Island States (SIS) who have limited capacity.

In relation to the peer review of Forum Island Countries' (FICs) national plans, one of the key deliverables of the Cairns Compact, the workshop considered it more appropriate that the peer review process should look to consider both national resource use and allocation practices as well as development partners behaviour and overseas development assistance at the national level.

Development partners reporting under the Cairns Compact, another of the deliverables of the Compact,was considered important by the participants, but the donors reporting to the Forum Secretariat should not undermine or prevent donors reporting to member countries, including on multi-year funding commitments. It was agreed that regional overseas development assistance (ODA) should also be assessed and that CROP agencies should work out how best they can provide assessments in line with the Cairns Compact.

The regional workshop agreed that the Cairns Compact has created new resource requirements but as much as possible existing mechanisms and processes should be utilized.

The workshop agreed that the Secretariat needs urgent technical and financial resources for the provision of oversight of the implementation of the Compact deliverables. The technical resources could be sourced from other agencies operating in the region on secondments or as short-term consultancies.

Other topics considered during the three-day workshop included:

. A Forum Private Sector Dialogue;
. Development of a Roadmap to strengthening public financial management;
. Tracking Millennium Development Goals and development effectiveness reporting;
. Implementation schedule and mapping development assistance; and
. A resourcing profile for the Compact.

Forum Secretariat Deputy Secretary General, Mr Teo acknowledged the support provided by AusAID and NZAID in complementing and supplementing the Secretariat's preparatory work for the workshop and AusAID for providing funding for the workshop.