Australia Commits $20 Million To Forum Secretariat

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3-years of funding first tranche of 6-year agreement

By Ropate Valemei

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 1, 2014) – Australia has committed $A21.6 million $US20 million) for the first three years of the partnership (2014-2016) with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS).

The new six-year partnership aims to leverage the efforts of Forum island countries to realise their aspirations for effective regionalism.

The Australia-PIFS Partnership (2014-2019) was co-signed by Australian Parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Brett Mason and PIFS secretary general Tuiloma Neroni Slade at the Forum Secretariat headquarters in Suva on Monday.

"I welcome this long-term agreement with Australia, which remains an invaluable partner for the Pacific Islands Forum and the whole region," Mr Slade said in a statement.

"This partnership reflects the strategic positioning of the Forum Secretariat, in taking the regional agenda forward."

Mr Mason said supporting the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in providing Pacific Island countries with the political and policy means to improve their development prospects was essential to a thriving Pacific neighbourhood.

"We believe that regionalism and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat has a critical role to play in the security and development of the Pacific."

 

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