The 2022 Pacific Update conference, co-hosted by the Development Policy Centre and The University of the South Pacific’s School of Accounting, Finance and Economics kickstarted this morning at the Laucala Campus in Suva.
The Pacific Update is the premier forum for discussion of economic, social, political, and environmental issues in the region.
Delivering the welcome remarks, USP Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pal Ahluwalia said the gathering reflected the commitment to continue deliberations, development, and research on public policy as the Pacific region adjusted its sails to navigate forward these important discussions.
“These are important contributions towards USP’s commitment to shaping Pacific futures to ensure the sustainable development in our communities and in the lives of the people we serve,” he said.
“Our focus is to work with all stakeholders and development partners, local and regional to deliver a means to advance progress towards addressing development challenges and achieving aspirations driven by our member countries.”
Professor Ahluwalia added that in the pursuit of sustainable development goals, accountability and good governance must be promoted through all policy creations to amplify the voices of the community.
“Good governance and accountability are considered key ingredients for sustained development and broader consultations improve the policy-making process and generate effective policies.”
“At the same time, we need to be advancing women’s participation, particularly in leadership roles towards climate action and disaster management. Women living in the Pacific region are often disproportionately affected by the socio-economic impact of disasters largely due to climate change.
“This is our Pacific journey, and it is our duty as custodians of Pacific futures to nurture and sustain our Pacific ways of resilience for our region.”
The President of Nauru, His Excellency Lionel Rouwen Aingimea was also present this morning and delivered his opening remarks.
“Whilst COVID-19 remains of critical concern, we must not lose focus on pursuing solutions to existing regional matters and development aspirations. We have to remain focused on delivering and providing development that empowers our people and makes our region stronger. I am confident that by working together we can create better conditions, stronger policies, and a more robust sense of institutional frameworks aimed towards a prosperous Pacific.”
The first day’s panel discussion included gender equality, aid effectiveness and Fiji’s economy. The Pacific Update Conference continues until Thursday 30 June 2022 at the USP Laucala Campus. Sessions will focus on economic recovery, PNG economy, social protection, labour mobility, development, and social impacts.