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                                                                            EPOC/AC(2)/Rep.
                                                                               27 April 2007


ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMISSION FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Working Group of the Advisory Council

                               RESUME OF DISCUSSIONS


Session:        Second session

Date:           Thursday, 19 April 2007

Present:        Mr Esala Nayasi, International Relations and Treaties Officer (Legal),
                Internal Relations Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade,
                Fiji; H.E. Ms Reteta Rimon Nikuata, High Commissioner, and Mr Tebao T.
                Awerika, First Secretary, High Commission of Kiribati; H.E. Mr Mack
                Kaminaga, Ambassador, Embassy of the Marshall Islands; H.E. Mr Kodaro
                M. Gallen, Ambassador, Embassy of the Federated States of Micronesia;
                H.E. Kennan Ranibok Adeang, High Commissioner, High Commission of
                Nauru; H.E. Mr Peter C.L. Eafeare, High Commissioner, High Commission
                of Papua New Guinea; and H.E. Mr Tine Leuelu, High Commissioner, High
                Commission of Tuvalu participated in the Working Group participated in the
                Working Group. Mr John Budden, Economic Infrastructure Advisor; Mr
                Fred Miller, Disability Coordination Officer; Ms Coral Pasisi, International
                and Regional Issues Advisor; and Ms Helen Tavola, Social Policy Advisor,
                Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, also participated in the Meeting.

1. Opening of the session.

      The Head of ESCAP Pacific Operations Centre welcomed the participants to the
Working Group in his opening remarks.

2. Election of officers.

        H.E. Mr Mack Kaminaga, Ambassador, Embassy of the Marshall Islands was elected
chairperson of the Working Group.

3. Adoption of the agenda.

    The Working Group adopted the agenda as contained in EPOC/AC(2)/1.

4. Implementation of the subprogramme on development of Pacific island developing
   countries and territories: activities of the ESCAP Pacific Operations Centre during
   the biennium 2006-2007.

    The Working Group reviewed the implementation of the subprogramme on the
development of Pacific island developing countries and territories in the biennium 2006-2007.
In response to queries from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Marshall
Islands, the secretariat noted that the additional funds received at the beginning of the fifth
quarter resulted from a reallocation within the ESCAP programme budget. The Centre will
endeavour to ensure greater allocation of funds to subprogramme 3 on the development of
Pacific island countries and territories in the future.

    The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat highlighted the importance of focussing on
information and communication technology to assist the disabled and the implementation of
the Biwako Millennium Framework towards an Inclusive, Barrier Free and Rights-Based
Society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific at both national and regional
levels.

5. Special Body on Least Developed and Landlocked Developing Countries, eighth
   session and Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Sixty-third
   session, Almaty, 15-23 May 2007.

    The Working Group reviewed the agendas of the Special Body on Least Developed and
Landlocked Developing Countries, eighth session, 15 and 16 May 2007 and that of the
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Sixty-third session, Almaty, 17 to
23 May 2007. Papua New Guinea noted that the issues being considered at this session of
the Special Body, namely, (1) intercountry energy cooperation to enhance energy security for
sustainable development and to widen access to energy services in least developed and
landlocked developing countries (E/ESCAP/SB/LDC(8)/1) and (2) international migration
and development in least developed and landlocked developing countries: challenges and
opportunities (E/ESCAP/SB/LDC(8)/2) were equally relevant to the Pacific island developing
countries and had been discussed at the subregional level through the Forum.

    In order to ensure that the views of countries in the Pacific are adequately reflected in the
deliberations of the Special Body and the Commission, Kiribati suggested that their
representatives meet to discuss their common positions prior to these meetings. Several
representatives reiterated the need for accreditation of High Commissioners of Pacific island
developing countries as Permanent Representatives.

     The secretariat noted that technical advisory services of limited duration to assist in
strengthening national capacities could be provided to Pacific island countries upon request,
in response to a query from Kiribati. Papua New Guinea emphasized the need for Pacific
island developing countries to ensure better coordination with donors as well as within each
country to ensure that assistance yields positive results. Micronesia (Federated States of)
requested the secretariat to work closely with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat as well as
the United Nations Development Programme Pacific Centre to ensure coordinated delivery of
assistance for development of a national sustainable development strategy and
implementation of the Pacific Plan. The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat also reiterated the
importance of strengthening capacity in national planning in these countries. To ensure that
the outcomes of international conferences lead to tangible results for the countries of the
Pacific, including those that are least developed, Tuvalu requested the secretariat to provide
them with the outcomes of these conferences so that they could be incorporate into aid and
trade policies of donors.

6. Special Body on Pacific Island Developing Countries, Tenth session, Bangkok, April
   2008.

     The Working Group considered three possible topics that be considered at the Special
Body on Pacific Island Developing Countries at its tenth session. The proposal by Papua
New Guinea that the next session of the Special Body could consider (a) “Economic and
social policies to address labour market trends in Pacific island developing countries and
territories” and (b) “Formulation and implementation of national sustainable development
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strategies which fulfil national commitments to the implementation of regional and
international strategies, plans and programmes” was endorsed by the participants. The
Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat noted that discussion of topic (b) could consider how
development cooperation could support national sustainable development goals and suggested
the need to strengthen the capacity of countries by examining issues in greater depth.

7. Tentative date of third session.

    The Working Group decided to hold its third session in Suva in November 2007 to review
(a) the issues to be discussed at the next session of the Special Body on Pacific Island
Developing Countries and (b) possible resolutions to be sponsored at the sixty-fourth session
of the Commission. The Working Group, led by Fiji, Kiribati and Papua New Guinea,
requested the secretariat to brief them on the outcome of the sixty-third session of the
Commission at an informal meeting to be held after its conclusion.

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