The Kingdom of Netherlands acknowledged the accomplishments of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) and the lead role undertaken on the formulation of the Suva Declaration following a courtesy visit by the Ambassador of Netherlands, His Excellency Rob Zaagman, to the PIDF Secretariat on Monday 20th June, 2016.

The visit allowed PIDF Secretary General, Mr. François Martel to provide an overview of the strategic directions and recent activities of PIDF while building the new regional organisation structure, processes and staff over the last 9 months since their last encounter. Mention was made of the Post-COP21 Public Forum on the Paris Agreement and other Post-COP21 engagements on maritime shipping emissions, in the role of Civil Society in climate change actions, and on climate-induced migrations and displacements.

“We had constructive discussions during the meeting with Ambassador Zaagman especially on the role of PIDF as a Pacific SIDS and South-South platform, as well as the potential for closer collaboration with the Netherlands” said Mr. Martel.

Ambassador Zaagman also shared his country experience and agreed that there are potential areas of collaboration in the area of sustainable development and building climate resilience in the Pacific.  The Ambassador pointed out his country’s expertise in water resilience, island resilience and in their willingness to share climate-smart solutions with SIDS. He provided a series of documents on the One Kingdom – Four Countries concept as Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten are Caribbean autonomous SIDS.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands strives to be a partner in finding innovative, creative and green solutions to build resilience and create a sustainable society.  ‘This echoes the mandate of the Pacific Islands Development Forum, as provided to us by the Pacific Leaders and in line with our Strategic Plan to be tabled to the next Leaders’ Summit” pointed out Mr. Martel after the meeting.

Already, through the relationship and role of their Special Envoy of the Netherlands for Pacific SIDS, HE Sjef Ijzermans, based in Manilla, a team of Dutch specialists and resilience engineers visited recently several atoll nations of the Pacific to assess climate resilience options for the atolls.

Mr. Martel took the opportunity to invite the Kingdom of the Netherlands to participate in the next Pacific Leaders’ Summit of the PIDF to be held on 12-13 July, in Honiara, Solomon Islands. The Pre-Summit event will include discussions on preparation for COP22, on Healthy Oceans and on climate adaptation financing – issues of common interest between Pacific Islands and the Netherlands.