PRESS RELEASE - 3rd August 2010 - Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum Smaller Islands States (SIS) held their 19th meeting in Port Vila, Vanuatu today with climate change issues dominating the meeting.It was attended by Leaders from the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau. A special envoy of the Prime Minister of Tuvalu also attended the meeting. The Ulu o Tokelau attended as an observer.
On the priority issue of climate change, the SIS Leaders noted the adverse consequences of climate change on Smaller Island States and saw value in taking a consolidated Pacific position leading up to the next international climate change negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, later this year. Substantial funding commitments are expected from the Copenhagen Accord, which prompted the SIS Leaders to consider the urgent need to develop a robust arrangement to absorb and manage the influx of funds into the region in particular from the Accord.
The SIS Leaders considered other funding sources through initiatives like the European Union-Pacific Initiative on Climate Change which aims to support SIS efforts towards adaptation to the impacts of climate change. SIS Leaders felt more could be done with the EU, especially in giving special recognition to SIS under EU's global funding through the Copenhagen Accord.
On renewable energy, much has been done to reaffirm SIS Leaders' commitment to a clean energy efficient Pacific.
The SIS Leaders also welcomed and supported the progress made in strengthening sub-regional shipping services in particular shipping services to support the SIS members of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu; and emphasized the importance of the sustainability of the sub-regional feeder service.
On the Bulk Procurement of Fuel Initiative, the SIS Leaders recognized the benefits of saving cost on collective procurement accrue under the Pacific Petroleum Project and encouraged other Pacific countries to sign up to the Project's MoU.
The SIS Leaders highlighted the importance of the inclusion of SIS in labour schemes and recognized the need for continued efforts by CROP Agencies in further enhancing opportunities for SIS workers.
An update on the progress of implementation of the Pacific Plan highlighted the efforts of SIS to actively implement its priorities and the important role of their SIS Pacific Plan Desk Officers to facilitate the right level of support.
On the Cairns Compact, the SIS Leaders recognised the need to look to the next steps in implementation of some of the findings of Compact reporting, in particular the Peer Review process and to use this opportunity and experience in developing more concrete partnerships with development partners.
Recognition was given to SIS members in the Compact implementation, particularly in the involvement of Kiribati and Nauru as the first countries to be Peer Reviewed under the Cairns Compact.
Special recognition was given to Tokelau as an Observer to the SIS Leaders meeting, particularly upon the presentation to SIS Leaders by the Ulu o Tokelau, of the newly unveiled Tokelau flag as a symbol of close and warm relations between SIS and the people of Tokelau.