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Pacific Plan Review Team Visits Samoa
Country consultations to continue for next several months

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Jan. 27, 2013) – Samoa hosted the team charged with carrying out the Pacific Plan Review 2013 this week.

Led by the Sir Mekere Morauta, KCMG, the team started its national consultations in Samoa. They met with Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and other key officials throughout the week.

From Samoa, the team will move on to Tonga, Tuvalu, New Zealand, Australia, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands over the course of February.

Further country consultations are scheduled to take place across the Pacific in March, April and May.

"This first round of national consultations is particularly important in setting the foundation for this important review," said Sir Mekere.

"Seeking frank, constructive and insightful input from national stakeholders is essential for mapping out the future of regional cooperation and integration, and for my team’s recommendations to Pacific Islands Forum Leaders."

Sir Mekere’s team members include Peseta Noumea Simi, of Samoa, Redley Killion, of the Federated States of Micronesia, and consultants Nick Poletti and Peter Bazeley.

In addition, the Government of Papua New Guinea is supporting Robert Igara as adviser to Sir Mekere.

The Pacific Plan Review 2013 aims to build regional consensus on the future direction of the Pacific Plan and provide a platform for prioritising regional cooperation and integration efforts over the next decade.

"National priorities are expected to be discussed at great length in relation to the Pacific Plan and whether it has been an effective platform for collective action on regional and global issues," said Sir Mekere.

"While the Pacific Plan has had its successes and provides a strong platform to guide regional cooperation and integration, challenges remain."

The review team will present its preliminary findings at a special sitting of the Pacific Plan Action Committee (PPAC) mid-year.

A second round of evidence-gathering and focused consultation is scheduled for June/July 2013, prior to the preparation of a final report to the annual meeting of Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in September 2013.

"I would like to remind all stakeholders that they are welcome to submit written submissions to the review team via our website,," said Sir Mekere.

"I encourage organisations, special interest groups and individuals from far and wide to participate in this important process. Make your views known and take part in shaping our region’s future, for the benefit of our proud nations and peoples."

Submissions for the Pacific Plan Review close May 2013.

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