THE FOURTH PACIFIC ISLANDS LEADERS MEETING
BETWEEN JAPAN AND THE MEMBERS OF
THE PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM
MAY 26-27 2006
Leaders' Declaration: "Okinawa Partnership for a more robust and prosperous Pacific Region"
27 May 2006
- The Leaders of Japan and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) met for the Fourth Japan-PIF Summit Meeting (PALM) (hereinafter referred to as "the Summit") from 26 to 27 May 2006 in Okinawa, Japan. Leaders and representatives of Japan, Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu were in attendance. The Summit was co-chaired by the Prime Minister of Japan, H.E. Junichiro Koizumi, and the Chair of the PIF and Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, the Rt. Hon. Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare.
- PIF Leaders expressed their appreciation to the Prime Minister, the Government and the people of Japan for hosting the Summit, and for the warm hospitality extended to them during their stay. PIF Leaders also expressed their gratitude to the Governor of Okinawa Prefecture and the people of Okinawa for their warm hospitality and wished them continuing prosperity. PIF Leaders recognized and valued Okinawa's contribution to Forum members in the areas of environment and human resources development, and noted Okinawa's potential, as an island prefecture, to contribute further to the sustainable development of the Pacific region.
- PIF Leaders expressed their deep appreciation for Japan's continued commitment and support to PIF Members since the First Pacific Leaders Summit held in 1997 between Japan and Members of the Pacific Islands Forum. Based on a relationship of mutual trust which has been strengthened and developed by the efforts of both sides, the Leaders of Japan and the PIF are determined to further enhance this special partnership in order to achieve a more robust and prosperous Pacific region. They therefore, decided to establish a new "Okinawa Partnership" between Japan and the Members of PIF. In acknowledging the need for early reform of the Security Council of the United Nations, Leaders of the PIF reiterated their support on a bilateral basis for Japan's bid for permanent membership of the UN Security Council.
- The Leaders of Japan and the PIF noted with satisfaction the achievements of the Okinawa Initiative which was adopted at the Third Japan-PIF Summit Meeting in 2003, and confirmed that under the Okinawa Initiative, a number of programs had been successfully implemented. The Leaders noted that many of the ongoing tasks based on the Okinawa Initiative will continue under the Okinawa Partnership. The Leaders of Japan and the PIF Members also noted the recent developments in the Solomon Islands and reaffirmed their resolve to continue their cooperation for good governance and stability in the Pacific island region.
- The Leaders of the PIF advised that the Pacific Plan adopted at the Forum Leaders' meeting in PNG last October, is currently being implemented to enhance and stimulate economic growth, sustainable development, good governance and security for Pacific countries. The Pacific Plan provides a framework and useful reference for Japan to support demand-driven priorities and locally-owned policies and institutions in coordination with, and complementary to, other development partners. The strategic objectives of the Pacific Plan are consistent with the principles and priority targets of the Okinawa Initiative.
- Prime Minister Koizumi complimented the Pacific Plan as a manifestation of a process owned by PIF Members, and expressed his strong expectation that PIF Members take appropriate steps to implement regional initiatives at the national level. Prime Minister Koizumi also expressed Japan's readiness to assist such efforts, with the cooperation of the PIF Members, by means of the Assistance Plan with the following areas of priority:
- a) Economic Growth: Cooperation in such areas as trade, investment, infrastructure, fisheries and tourism.
- b) Sustainable Development: Cooperation in such areas as environment, health, water and sanitation, education and vocational training.
- c) Good Governance: Cooperation in such areas as administrative capacity building and institutional capacity building.
- d) Security: Cooperation in such areas as disaster mitigation and management, and measures against organized crime.
- e) People to People Communication and Exchange: Enhancement of exchange of personnel and cultural exchange.
- The Leaders of the PIF welcomed Japan's Assistance Plan and affirmed their readiness to cooperate closely with Japan for its smooth implementation. The Leaders of Japan and the PIF called on the international community to enhance their partnerships with the Pacific Region in line with the framework of the Pacific Plan. In this regard, the Leaders expressed their view that future assistance provided by development partners should be conducive to the prosperity and good governance of respective PIF Members. The Leaders of Japan and the PIF also acknowledged the significance of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.
- The Leaders of Japan and the PIF decided to establish a Joint Committee consisting of representatives of Japan and PIF Members to annually review progress on the implementation of the Okinawa Partnership and future cooperation between Japan and PIF Members.
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