PRESS RELEASE - 29th March 2010 - The Government of the Republic of Nauru wants "positive results out of the Cairns Compact Peer Review process."

"Given the energy behind the Cairns Compact when Forum Leaders endorsed it last year and what we have been doing on Nauru in terms of developing our planning and aid management systems, we see this as an opportunity to take this energy and translate it into improvements to our planning and other connected processes," Hon. Dr Kieren Keke, Nauru's Minister for Finance and Planning said.

Dr Keke was one of the Nauru Government representatives that were consulted by the Cairns Compact Peer Review team that was in the country 22 - 26 March. The Team also consulted with non-government organizations and community groups in Nauru. It was the first Forum Island country (FIC) to volunteer to be peer reviewed under the Cairns Compact. Nauru chose the Cook Islands and Tonga and the United Nations Development Programme to do the peer review.

"We only started the processes of structured planning and aid coordination five years ago and so there is a lot that we can learn to improve on through the Cairns Compact process. The review of our National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS) 2005 - 2025 last year highlighted that we have a long way to go in turning the national strategy into sector plans and bringing in more stakeholders," Dr Keke told the Peer Review team.

Dr Keke commended Nauru's development partners for their assistance over the past years.

But he added: "We would like our aid donors to address what we consider to be our priority areas. We would want them to do this in a way that is suitable for us taking into consideration our current capacity to absorb such assistance and the processes we need to undergo to access this assistance. Some of these processes are time consuming and it is very easy for us to miss the boat.

"We value the assistance but it is difficult for small countries like Nauru to manage the requirements of the development partners especially when they are fixed on their systems and not being flexible to address the special needs that we have."

Nauru's Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr Keke urged the Peer Review team not to only make recommendations but to match them with inputs that will be needed to turn them into results.

The Peer Review team is scheduled to have a draft report for the consideration of the Nauru Government by the mid April before it is submitted to the Forum Leaders when they meet later this year. The Republic of Kiribati will be the next FIC to be peer reviewed under the Cairns Compact.