The Third Japan-PIF Summit Meeting (PALM 2003)
Outline and Achievement

I. Outline

1. The 3rd Japan-PIF Summit Meeting (PALM 2003) was held on May 16 and 17 at the Bankoku Shinryokan in Nago city, Okinawa Prefecture. The Meeting was co-chaired by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase of Fiji, a current chair of the PIF, and attended by leaders, ministers and senior officials of PIF member

(a) Participating PIF members: Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Marshal Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Kitibati, Australia, New Zealand, Cook Islands, and Niue

    * Nauru was absent due to domestic political situation. Cook Islands was represented by its Deputy Prime Minister. Australia, the Federated States of Micronesia and New Zealand were represented by their Ministers of Foreign Affairs. Kiribati and Tuvalu were represented by their senior officials.

(b) Schedule

16 May (Fri.)
  PM: Opening Ceremony,
Summit Meeting (1st session)
17 May (Sat.)
  AM: Summit Meeting (2nd and 3rd session),
Closing Session
Joint Press Conference

This Summit was followed by a lunch hosted by Governor Keiichi Inamine of Okinawa Prefecture.

(c) Agenda

1st session:

(i) Enhanced Security in the Pacific Region
Political stability/conflict management, Terrorism and International Crime, Human security

(ii) More Robust and Sustained Trade and Economic Growth
Promotion of trade and investment, encouraging business sector

(iii) Sustainable Development and Better Health
Focuses on development, measures against infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, SARS, malaria, lymphatic filariasis, as well as diabetes, improving immunization campaigns.

2nd session:

(i) Improved Education and Human Resources Development:
Strengthening primary and basic education, improving higher education and distance learning.

3rd session

(i) A Safer and More Sustainable Environment
Waste management, conservation, global warming, disaster management

II. Achievement

1. Outcome

The outcome of the PALM 2003 was concrete and action-oriented one, as Prime Minister Qarase highly appraised at the Joint Press Conference. He also expressed his expectation for the next meeting, which will probably be held in 3 years, with conduct of an annual review of the "Okinawa Initiative".

(1) Outcome 1: Adoption of regional development strategy and concrete action plan

The leaders aimed at forging concrete and action-oriented regional development strategy to achieve sustainable development in the Pacific Region, based on the progress since PALM 2000 in Miyazaki and changing trend regarding development issues in international community. In a relaxing atmosphere of the beautiful Okinawa, leaders held active and frank discussions. In particular, they shared great interests for environmental and educational issues and made a number of concrete suggestions. In the end, they adopted "Okinawa Initiative" that consists of "Regional Development Strategy for a More Prosperous and Safer Pacific" and "Joint Action Plan".

In the declaration, leaders confirmed 5 principals based on outcome of last year's WSSD in Johannesburg and other international commitments as basic strategy, and agreed to clarify PIF initiatives in respective areas above mentioned, as well as Japan's assistance to PIF initiatives. This means that focus of the Japan- PIF partnership became more concrete on a basis of the comprehensive partnership that was launched at PALM 2000, and that it was reaffirmed that PIF should take its own initiative with supports from Japan. This Joint Action Plan will be annually reviewed and be a foundation for further strengthening of the Japan-PIF partnership.

(2) Outcome 2: Announcement of Japan's assistance

Taking consideration of discussion among leaders, Prime Minister Koizumi announced Japan's concrete assistance to the region, which was listed in a "Fact Sheet" [PDF]. The examples of assistance include vocational training for the ex-combatants in Solomon Islands (Security), trade exhibition and workshop (Trade and Investment), construction of the New Fiji Pharmaceutical Services Centre (Health), providing 100 primary educational infrastructure as well as sending 100 JOCVs for primary education for next 3 years (Education and Human Resource Development), and projecting a master plan on waste management and model project. The PIF leaders highly appreciated for Japan's commitments as these supports were formed with good understanding of problems they were facing

(3) Outcome 3: SARS</p>

A number of leaders pointed out the danger that SARS would bring to PIF members. Even though PIF region was not currently affected by SARS, they would be seriously damaged if SARS would spread within the region due to fragile medical system. Prime Minister Koizumi responded that situation regarding SARS should be carefully observed. Following the discussion, the leaders agreed to include a statement on SARS in the declaration, which expressed shared concern for SARS and necessity for being precautious against the disease.

(4) Outcome 4: Joint Statement on Cooperation among Australia, Japan and New Zealand on Development Assistance in the Pacific Region

At the end of the session, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand announced a joint statement, recognising the significance of cooperation among them for development assistance in the region. In the statement, it was reconfirmed that three countries would continue to have dialogue on the issue, and promote co-ordination in the areas provided in the Okinawa Initiative, namely, nature conservation, primary education and distance learning, measures against infectious disease (HIV/AIDS, SARS), promoting trade and investment, and restoration of Solomon Islands and Bougainville that was damaged by ethnic conflicts in the recent past. Since aid from three countries consist nearly 60% of total assistance to the Pacific region, it has important meaning that they reassured themselves to co-operate each other in this issue.

2. Promoting exchanges with Okinawa.

As a host, Okinawa Prefectureother site and Nago City extended warm courtesy to participating leaders through programs such as a lunch hosted by Governor Inamine, and spouse programs. At the Joint Press Conference, Prime Minister Koizumi stated as follows; in Okinawa it is said that once you meet and exchange words, then you became brothers and sisters. As was expressed in this word, the PALM 2003 provided opportunity for further promotion of friendship between Okinawa as well as other part of Japan and PIF members, as if they were real brothers and sisters.

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