Heads of States and Government representatives of Japan and South Pacific Forum (SPF) members (Australia, the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, the Fiji Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu) in recognition of the strong bonds of friendship and shared interest between Japan and the Pacific region, met in Miyazaki, Japan on 22 April, 2000 to participate in PALM 2000, the Second Japan-South Pacific Forum Summit Meeting.

The SPF Leaders expressed their deep appreciation to the Government and people of Japan for the initiative to hold this second high level meeting and for the arrangements and generous hospitality extended to them during their stay in Miyazaki and Tokyo.

Following the Leaders' session, Japan and the SPF Leaders adopted this declaration, which summarizes their common understanding on the current situation in the Pacific, their common vision for the future as well as mid-to-long term priorities of Japan-SPF cooperation. In view of the urgent nature of environmental issues, the Leaders also adopted a separate Statement on Environmental Issues in the Pacific.

Common Understanding on Today's Pacific

The Leaders confirmed the following common understanding on Today's Pacific.

Globalization is generating abundant opportunities and wealth on a global scale, including within our region. The rapid progress in such areas as satellite communication and information technology and clean energy has the potential of offsetting the various disadvantages inherent to island nations including isolation and distance from major markets that the FICs are struggling to overcome. The presence of FICs in various international frameworks including the United Nations has steadily been increasing in recent years.

On the other hand, many FICs still lag behind in access to the necessary infrastructure and are continuing their struggle to overcome their economic vulnerability. They are also faced with new challenges as global competition intensifies. Human security issues including environment degradation, infectious diseases, and trans-national organized crime, which threatens human lives livelihoods, and dignity, are increasingly affecting our region.

Common Vision on Tomorrow's Pacific

The Leaders of Japan and South Pacific Forum renewed their determination to join forces, while closely networking with other countries concerned as well as regional and international organizations including the United Nations and the SPF Secretariat, to meet the challenges of globalization. Based on this renewed determination, the Leaders spelled out their common vision on Tomorrow's Pacific, and their shared mid-to-long term priorities in order to move together toward this common vision.

(Sustainable development of Forum Island Countries)

The Leaders expressed their determination to aim at Tomorrow's Pacific, where politically independent and economically self-reliant FICs enjoy peace and prosperity, while assuming an active role within various international frameworks as viable players. The Leaders also expressed their strong hope that an effective as well as caring society be developed in the region, where diverse individuals and groups of people can fulfil their potential.

To this end, the Leaders commended the commitment by FICs to reforms aimed at promoting sustainable development and stressed the necessity to continue these efforts by FICs, as well as effective and continuous support by the donor community within and outside the region. The Leaders confirmed the importance of the following mid-to-long term priorities with regard to Japan-SPF cooperation:

* Capacity-building through improvement of education and training, support for industrial development and promotion, and active use and dissemination of information and telecommunication technology.

* Promotion of economic reform, private sector development and improved trade and investment environment.

* Environmentally sound improvement of basic infrastructure forming the basis of the FIC's lives and industries, including the development of clean energy.

* Seeking a balanced outcome for all economies including FICs through future negotiations on global trading rules.

* Creation and adoption of appropriate measures to address and mitigate the effects of the economic and environmental vulnerability of FICs.

(Regional and Global issues of common concern)

The Leaders expressed their determination to aim at Tomorrow's Pacific, where the Pacific Islanders are blessed, generations after generations, with the riches of the surrounding environment of beautiful islands and bountiful sea, including fishery resources and sea-bed mineral resources. The Leaders also expressed their strong hope that cultural diversity as well as peace of mind and well-being of individuals be respected and preserved amid the tide of globalization. The Leaders will earnestly strive for the strengthening of international frameworks including the United Nations, in order to deal with challenges concerning global and regional peace and prosperity more effectively.

The Leaders therefore confirmed the importance of the following mid-to-long term priorities with regard to Japan-SPF cooperation in the international arena.

* Actively addressing global environmental issues such as climate change.

* Strengthening the conservation, development and management regime of marine living resources, in particular in fisheries, recognising that the MHLC process and the regional VMS are in progress.

* Strengthening cooperation in addressing issues relating to sea-bed mineral and renewable resources.

* Promotion of respect for, and preservation of, cultural diversity.

* Tackling human security issues threatening human lives, livelihoods and dignity in the wake of globalisation such as infectious diseases, refugees and displaced persons and trans-national organised crime including money laundering.

* Cooperation in promoting dialogue between coastal and shipping states to address the concerns of Pacific island countries regarding the shipment of radioactive materials through the Pacific region, particularly the safety and the potential economic losses from any accident during the shipments.

* Joint efforts at promoting common interests in international organizations and at international fora.

* Early realization of comprehensive United Nations reforms, including Security Council reforms, using an opportunity of the Millennium Summit.

(Japan-SPF Partnership)

The Leaders expressed their determination to aim at Tomorrow's Pacific, where Pacific islands including Japan and SPF members enjoy an enduring genuine partnership based on trust and friendship. Such partnership and friendship should be nurtured through continuous efforts of promotion of exchanges and people-to-people contacts, as well as mutual understanding of each other's tradition and culture.

To this end, the Leaders recognised the importance of the following as mid-to-long term priorities with regard to Japan-SPF partnership.

* Promotion of dialogue at all levels, including contacts between Leaders and Ministers.

* Improvement of communication and cooperation between Japan and regional organizations in the Pacific, including the SPF.

* Promotion of business ties through trade, investment and tourism promotion.

* Promotion of intellectual exchanges, cultural exchanges and grass-roots exchanges.

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