THE PACIFIC LEADERS SUMMIT
BETWEEN JAPAN AND MEMBERS
OF THE PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM
MAY 16-17 2003
"THE OKINAWA INITIATIVE:
REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
FOR A MORE PROSPEROUS AND SAFER PACIFIC"
The Leaders of Japan and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) members met for their third Meeting in Okinawa, Japan, from 16 to 17 May 2003. The Leaders who attended were from Japan, Fiji, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. Cook Islands were represented by the Deputy Prime Minister. Australia, the Federated States of Micronesia and New Zealand were represented by their Ministers of Foreign Affairs. Kiribati was represented by its Chairman of the Council of State. Tuvalu was represented by the Secretary to Government. The Summit was co-chaired by the Prime Minister of Japan, H.E. Junichiro Koizumi, and the Chairman of the PIF and Prime Minister of the Fiji Islands, Hon. Laisenia Qarase.
The Leaders of Japan and the Pacific Islands Forum recalled the importance of the mutually beneficial partnership that was formalized at the first PALM in 1997. They reaffirmed their commitment to continue working together to ensure that a safe, stable and sustainable environment is achieved in the Asia and Pacific region. The Leaders of Japan and the PIF expressed their determination to achieve their "common vision for the future" as expressed in the Miyazaki Declaration in 2000. The Leaders called on the international community to provide continuing support for the region in this regard.
The PIF Leaders expressed their appreciation to the Prime Minister, Government and People of Japan for organising the Summit and for the warm hospitality extended. The Leaders also expressed their gratitude to the Governor and People of Okinawa for their warm hospitality and wished them continued prosperity.
The Summit noted with satisfaction the progress report submitted by Japan on achievements of the Miyazaki Initiative from the second Leaders Meeting in 2000, which has contributed much to the enhancement of the relationship between Japan and PIF members. Much of the ongoing work arising from the Miyazaki Initiative will be continued under this Okinawa Initiative. Okinawa has expressed its willingness to contribute to the sustainable development in the Pacific region with its own initiatives.
The Summit was held against the backdrop of a global and regional environment that was politically uncertain and economically stagnant. Many of the Pacific island countries have suffered from gradual decline in gross national income, and their aid receipt has been either unchanged or on decline. Moreover, they are facing a particularly difficult task of overcoming their physical disadvantages of smallness, geographic isolation and vulnerability, while striving to maximize the benefits from globalization and ensuring the protection of their cultural diversity.
The Summit noted that Japan and the PIF shared many things in common including the vast Pacific Ocean with its enormous but not unlimited resources. There is a shared need as well for a safe and stable region that allowed for the positive flow of goods, services, capital, people and knowledge, whilst also ensuring the maintenance of a safe and sustainable environment for future generations of the Asia-Pacific region.
Against this background, the Summit decided on this Okinawa Initiative: Regional Development Strategy and Joint Action Plan for a More Prosperous and Safer Pacific. These are designed to translate the following principles and commitments into regional initiatives:
1) Achievements at the WSSD (2002); 2) The Millennium Development Goals at the United Nations; 3) "Human Security"and "Peace Consolidation" initiatives proposed by Japan; 4) Pacific policy framework endorsed by the Leaders and Ministers of the PIF; and 5) Enhanced cooperation with other development partner governments and organizations including those from Civil Society.
- The Summit also set the following five priority policy targets and listed, in the attached Joint Action Plan, the initiatives which Japan and PIF countries will jointly undertake:
1) Enhanced Security in the Pacific Region:
The Summit recognized the need to address not only the conventional physical threats to the integrity of the Pacific region, but also terrorism and other international crimes as well as human security concerns including natural disasters, economic turbulence, polluted environment and diseases.
2) A Safer and More Sustainable Environment:
The Summit identified, as priority focus, waste management, protection and sustainable use of the environment and natural resources, global warming, and vulnerability and disaster management.
3) Improved Education and Human Resources Development:
The Leaders determined the priority of strengthening primary and basic education as well as the importance of higher education and distance learning in developing and realizing the human resources potential of the region.
4) Better Health:
The Summit decided to take joint actions aimed at fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria, lymphatic filariasis, and other infectious diseases as well as diabetes, and pledged to continue support for immunization campaigns. The Summit shared concerns over possible outbreaks of SARS in the Pacific Region and decided to remain vigilant on this issue.
5) More Robust and Sustained Trade and Economic Growth:
The Summit also decided to continue to support trade and investment promotional work including in tourism, and to investigate other means of enhancing the economic and trade performance of the Pacific Islands.
Prime Minister Koizumi reaffirmed Japan's intention of supporting the achievement of these five targets in the Pacific through the Joint Action Plan. The PIF Leaders reiterated their appreciation of Japan's concrete commitments to the Pacific Islands and confirmed their own commitment to the implementation of the Joint Action Plan.
The Summit decided that a high level annual review be held on the implementation of the Regional Development Strategy and Joint Action Plan.
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