Following a comprehensive consultation process with respective in country multi-stakeholder organisations, the Governments of the Republic of Marshall Islands and Republic of Nauru officially established National Sustainable Development Boards (NSDBs) and reaffirmed their support to the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF).

The NSDBs are an important part of PIDF’s governance structure as they will become PIDF’s arm in their member countries, ensuring that there is coherence of policy between the needs at the national level and the policy formulation and related action at the regional level.

It offers member countries a multi-stakeholder platform from which dialogue related to the country’s development needs are addressed through a partnership of the public and private sectors and civil society.

“The NSDBs are to be the focal points for in-country consultations, information-sharing and implementation of PIDFs mandate,” said the PIDF Secretary General, François Martel during the opening ceremony.

“Because we realise that many of the problems we face today need a joint effort and everyone needs to play their part. This is an important element in the philosophy behind PIDF and quite unique in the region,” he further added.

During the ceremony, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Nauru, Baron Divavesi Waqa pledged to further engage with PIDF on issues concerning sustainable development.

“PIDF will continue to remain relevant in coordinating the sharing of information between countries of the region and encourage inclusiveness by enabling us to work together with private sector and CSOs towards national sustainable development activities. We will continue to support PIDF but they need to be responsive and sensitive to the needs of individual member countries,” commented the President of the Republic of Nauru.

His Excellency the Vice-President of the Republic of Marshall Islands, Mattlan Zackhras also expressed continued support for PIDF and to utilise the newly established NSDBs for national development activities through an inclusive manner.

“We hold the ocean close to our heart. Nauru and RMI may be small but we are ocean states. The call for inclusiveness needs to be on top of the Pacific agenda. But we are glad with the progress made during the NSDB consultations which also included discussions on the PIDF strategic plan, proposed Pacific Climate treaty and the Climate Change Roadmap,” said the Vice-President of the Republic of Marshall Islands

“I express gratitude to PIDF for providing us in the Pacific a platform for advocating on climate change issues and encourage all members to work closer together. We do see regional benefit through green/blue economy growth as encouraged by PIDF.

A team led by PIDF Deputy Secretary General have also successfully concluded consultations in Kiribati, Timor Leste, Vanuatu and Federated States of Micronesia. They will be having consultations  in Tuvalu in March 2017 and conclude national consultations in Tokealu, Fiji, Tonga and Solomon Islands by April, 2017.

The PIDF Secretary General assured the delegation that the Secretariat will closely support the NSDBs through their establishment phase and we will remain engaged to ensure that these bodies remain relevant to the people of their respective countries and that PIDF itself aspires to remain relevant to national needs and remain guided by national priorities.