PRESS RELEASE - 24th February 2010 - There has been steady and satisfactory progress recorded in the implementation of the Cairns Compact since it was endorsed by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders at their meeting in Cairns in August last year.

At the Cairns meeting Leaders expressed their deep concern that the Pacific region remains off-track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. This is despite continued high levels of development assistance over many years,

Leaders agreed there was an urgent need to establish a new development compact for the Pacific given the need to improve development outcomes, address the impact of the global economic downturn, and strengthen long-term economic resilience.

The key objective of the Cairns Compact will be to drive more effective coordination of available development resources from both Forum Island countries and all development partners, centered on the aim of achieving real progress against the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

"There has been steady and satisfactory progress so far in the implementation of the key deliverables in the Compact as arrangements are underway for the peer review process, one of the deliverables of the Compact, to be conducted in Nauru and Kiribati. This will include a self assessment of the two countries' national planning processes to be followed by country visits by peer review teams," says Feleti Teo, Acting Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

The implementation of other deliverables which include reporting on national development plans has also begun with the reporting template being distributed to Forum Island countries for their completion.

Work has also begun on preparations for the MDGs Tracking Report and a template for the Development Partners Reports is undergoing consultation. A draft report on the Roadmap on Public Expenditure is expected at the end of March and discussions have been initiated with the Asian Development Bank and other partners such as the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) on a modality for the high level dialogue with the private sector in the region.

"As the agency coordinating the implementation of the Compact, the Forum Secretariat is very much encouraged by the cooperation shown by Forum member governments and development partners in taking part in the implementation of the deliverables of the Compact," Mr Teo said.