Press Release – Pacific Plan Review
At their recent meeting with the Executive team at Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) headquarters in Noumea, the Pacific Plan Review team heard about the wide range of initiatives that SPC has been undertaking to support the Plans implementation …Implementing the Pacific Plan: SPC Highlights its Role
At their recent meeting with the Executive team at Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) headquarters in Noumea, the Pacific Plan Review team heard about the wide range of initiatives that SPC has been undertaking to support the Plan’s implementation across the Region.
“The current Plan mixes high level vision and objectives with a listing of priorities and implementation details”, noted SPC’s Director General, Dr Jimmie Rodgers.
But he expressed concern that the Plan’s existing governance and reporting arrangements do not fully acknowledge the architecture of Pacific regional organizations.
“SPC is the Plan’s largest implementing agency, but this is not always adequately recognised”, Dr Rodgers said. To highlight how SPC’s work incorporates many of the Pacific Plan priorities, SPC produces its own regular publication, entitled “SPC and the Pacific Plan.”
Refreshing the Plan
The Pacific Plan Review team, led in their mission to New Caledonia by the Right Honourable Sir Mekere Morauta, KCMG, has been tasked by Pacific Forum Leaders to consider how the Pacific Plan could be “refreshed” to better meet the region’s needs.
Dr Rodgers offered several suggestions, noting that for the Plan to be truly pan-Pacific in nature, it needs to “consider how best to involve non-Forum members in the governance arrangements at the political level, to ensure it is inclusive of all island countries and territories.”
Related to this, he observed that political ownership of the commitments set out in the Plan “is crucial.”
Dr Rodgers also suggested that “there needs to be an improved and commonly agreed analytical and prioritisation process” for the Pacific Plan.
“This process should identify public goods or services that need to be provided at the regional level in order to achieve national development outcomes across the region” he said.
In addition, he cautioned that “priorities must be linked to resources for implementation”.
A Charter, Rather Than a Plan?
In presenting his views on the Pacific Plan to the team Dr Rodgers also discussed the Plan’s history. He recalled being a member of the ‘Reflections Group’ in 2004, which had expressed enthusiasm for labelling the framework under development a high level “Pacific Charter”, rather than a regional “plan”.
A similar assessment on the high-level nature of the existing “plan” was presented by the Review team in their “Review Note 4: Defining Regionalism” (available to the public online). They noted that, “in the absence of decisions on pooling sovereignty, regional systems for budgeting and spending funds, transfers across the region, and the subordination of national development plans to the Pacific Plan,” the Plan clearly did not currently qualify as a regional development plan.
The Review team is now nearing the end of this round of country consultations. They plan to present their interim findings in Suva in late May.