By Rolynda Jonathan
The Republic of the Marshall Islands is calling for improved relevance of the Pacific Plan for Smaller Island States. Marshall Islands officials made the call during the recent consultation meeting with members of the Pacific Plan Review Team.
Secretary of Foreign Affairs Kino Kabua called for more focus on education, healing health and climate change, the country’s national priorities. Kabua explained that although they are reflected in the regional agenda, in the current Plan they are grouped among other areas that other regional governments see as important.
RMI’s Ministers further raised questions about the process of regional priority setting, suggesting that Smaller Island States did not always get adequate input.
Leading the consultation, FSM country representative Redley Killion proposed increased cooperation in providing key services as a good option. Forum leaders adopted the Pacific Plan in 2005 to strengthen regional cooperation.
The team is set to continue its consultation phase in the FSM, Palau, Kiribati and Fiji, and will return to Majuro in September to report back to the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders at their annual meeting.