30 Dec 2013

Sweeping changes recommended after Pacific Plan review

8:25 am on 30 December 2013

A team which spent much of 2013 reviewing the Pacific Island Forum's Pacific Plan says the document should be renamed the New Framework for Pacific Regionalism.

The review team, headed by former Papua New Guinea prime minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, has now released its full report, which also includes recommendations for a shake-up in the way the Forum's secretariat is managed.

Don Wiseman has more:

"The review was undertaken to ensure the nearly ten year old Pacific Plan remains the driver of regional integration and co-operation. Through consultations around the region the review team found the Plan had lost much of its impact. Sir Mekere says a bigger, better, deeper process of regionalism is called for. Their report says this New Framework for Pacific Regionalism should set manageable regional priorities, that are timely, simple, transparent and inclusive. It calls for an upskilling and professionalising of capabilities at the Forum Secretariat. The reviewers talk of a reactive rather that proactive approach in the management of the Plan and blames this on the Pacific Plan Action Committee. It says this is too large, part time and cumbersome. They say it should be replaced by a new Board for Pacific Regionalism, which would be smaller, more business-like and have a clear role with a wider set of skills."