Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has described the recent G7+ Summit in Dili, Timor Leste, as a “very important engagement” for the future of Solomon Islands.
The conference brought together 30 Pacific Island delegates as well as representatives from Africa and Asia involved in the G7+ group of nations, to seek a path forward once the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) expire in 2015.
The conference involved hundreds of delegates and was organized and supported by the Timor Leste government, the Pacific Institute of Public Policy, UNESCAP and AusAID.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Lilo participated at a high-level panel where he discussed development priorities that the government should focus on after 2015.
“I emphasized the point about the need for us to venture into infrastructure development to be able to bring down the cost of delivering the MDG’s in post 2015. There’s no point in us continuing with the current modality if we know that the cost continues to increase and the delivery of services were reduced,” Prime Minister Lilo said.
“So we have to rethink the modality so that we can narrow the gap between lowering the cost of quality services and the increase in the cost of service delivery, especially on the MDG goals,” the Prime Minister explained.
The Minister of Finance and Treasury, Rick Hou who accompanied Prime Minister Lilo also represented Solomon Islands at a round-table meeting on specific financial economic policies with other Pacific Partners organized by AusAID and the Pacific Public Policy Institute.
As the expiry of the MDGs draws closer, the Solomon Islands Government regarded the G7+ as an important avenue for ongoing engagement and dialogue to keep us abreast with policy directions that the government should take after 2015.
“I thought that it is a very important engagement that will keep us engaged, especially, now that we all know that MDGs will expire in 2015 and what will be after 2015? So we have to continue with the discussion and dialogue to keep ourselves abreast with the issues and to focus ourselves on what we should do to bring development to our people,” Prime Minister Lilo said.
Nearly 50 countries, including 18 involved in the g7+ group of nations have backed The Dili Consensus on future development, which emerged from the Summit last week.
The Consensus was also endorsed by Dr Noeleen Heyzer, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP (the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific).
The Dili Consensus is a clear call for a “new deal” on development that incorporates many elements missing from the original MDG approach.
The new approach concentrates on inclusiveness, ownership of the development agenda by those affected and a greater focus on climate change.
Solomon Islands is the only pacific country that is a member of the G7+ group of nations.
Source: Press Release, Government Communications Unit, Honiara