Press Release - Busan, Republic of Korea, 28th November 2011

Pacific island countries have been urged to make use of the opportunity of the 4th High Level Forum (HLF4) on Aid Effectiveness being held in the Republic of Korea's second largest city Busan to make strong representation on the steady yet positive progress made in improving development cooperation towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Pacific island countries who are in Busan include the Cook Islands, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Australia and New Zealand are also in Busan joining the 2,000 delegates for the three-day meeting.

In a briefing session for the Pacific Island Forum delegations in Busan, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade emphasised that the HLF4 is an opportunity where the region demonstrates the special case of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and their vulnerabilities.

"It's a time to make very clear that despite our similarities, we remain diverse in the extent of progress made, in our development capacities and in the political will and leadership placed on moving the development cooperation agenda forward," said Mr Slade.

He stated: "The focus of the theme, 'From aid effectiveness to development effectiveness', will discuss areas of critical importance to achieving development goals, reflecting some of the cross-cutting aspects of effectiveness, as well as actors and approaches which have become central to development cooperation."

The main thematic focus areas include: capacity development and knowledge exchange; rights based approaches; fragility and conflict; south-south and triangular cooperation; and private sector.

Several Pacific island countries as well as New Zealand and Australia have been invited to speak on some of the thematic areas during the plenary sessions, side events and a knowledge and innovation space.

The Forum Secretariat has organised jointly with the African Union agency, NEPAD, a side event addressing the theme of, "Localising the Global Agenda on Development Cooperation: Regional dimensions in strengthening Mutual Accountability". The Pacific will use this side event to showcase the implementation in the last two years of the Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination (Forum Compact). A joint statement will be issued at the end of the side event emphasizing how regional mechanisms including south-south and trilateral/triangular cooperation to promote the effectiveness of mutual accountability mechanisms at the national and regional levels.

The Forum Secretariat is also coordinating a mini-debate in the Knowledge and Innovation Space at the HLF4 on the peer review process under the Forum Compact.