PRESS STATEMENT - Yaren, Nauru, 24 March 2010 - There has been further progress in the implementation of the Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific with the commencement of the Peer Review process in the Republic of Nauru this week.

The key objective of the Compact, endorsed by Forum Leaders last August, is to have more effective coordination of available development resources from both Forum Island Countries (FICs) and all development partners, centered on the aim of achieving real progress against the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

One of the deliverables of the Compact is that the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat establish and report annually to Forum Leaders on a process of regular peer review of FIC's national development plans to promote international best practice in key sectors, improve effective budget allocation processes and guide support from development partners.

"Nauru is one of the first FICs to have volunteered to undergo the Peer Review under the Compact," said Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General of the Forum Secretariat.

"FICs are only peer reviewed when they volunteer to be included and they themselves choose which FICs and development partners undertake the review. In the case of Nauru, it has chosen the Cook Islands, Tonga and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to undertake the review process."

Mr Slade commended the Government of Nauru for coming forward and becoming the first country to be peer reviewed under the Cairns Compact, and also the Governments of the Cook Islands and Tonga as well as the UNDP for agreeing to carry out the review.

The Peer Review team, coordinated by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, will meet with representatives of various Nauru Government Ministries throughout the week. A draft report will be produced which will be discussed with the various government authorities before being submitted to Forum Leaders' meeting to be held in Port Vila, Vanuatu later this year.