The Pacific Resilience Partnership (PRP) Taskforce welcomed 2024 with its first meeting of the year on 30-31 January, physically hosted in Suva, Fiji.
The purpose of the two-day hybrid meeting was for the Taskforce members to revisit their roles and responsibilities and that of the PRP governance arrangement, particularly in the context of the recent endorsement of the 2050 Strategy Implementation Plan by Leaders.
It was successfully executed under the able leadership of Taskforce Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment â€“ Samoa, Ms Frances Reupena.
All the contingency groups that comprise the Taskforce membership, inclusive of the sub-regional representation of the Pacific, civil society private sector and partners, were represented at the meeting, further emphasising the inclusive, genuine and active multi-stakeholder partnership intent of the the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific (FRDP) and PRP.
The Support Unit comprises the Pacific Community (SPC), Pacific Regional Environment Programme - SPREP, and the Pacific Islands Forum - PIF, which provide secretariat and technical support to ensure the Taskforceâ€™s effectiveness in the delivery of their roles and responsibilities.
The PRP Taskforce is at the apex of the PRP governance arrangements endorsed by Leaders in 2017 to support the effective implementation of the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific (FRDP).
Ms Reupena, in her address to the Taskforce members, encouraged them to look deeply into what they bring to this mechanism and how they see themselves as PRP Taskforce members in the broader regional landscape.
She emphasised that " PRP has proved its value coordinating stakeholder effective engagement towards tangible outcomes like the Pacific Regional Framework on Climate Mobility recently endorsed by the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders and the work on developing the Disaster Risk Finance roadmap endorsed by Forum Economic Ministers". She further emphasised that the Taskforce needs to make sure they continue to demonstrate their value add towards identified regional priorities.
The meeting saw some great discussions, including understanding its role and responsibilities, in light of the mid-term review and unpacking the linkages with regional initiatives such as the 2050 strategy and the review of the regional architecture and the approaches to implementation.
The Chair shared that "The PRP governance arrangements have always been very strong on being inclusive of all stakeholders and particularly the equal representation aspect. We need to continue to build on that strength, noting the trend towards more inclusive engagement of all stakeholders."
"There is a lot of work to be done to enable this mechanism, as endorsed by Leaders, to be responsive and be of value to the issues faced by our region and countries, while at the same time being flexible to align with the ongoing new developments and changes - our flexibility can also what underpins our ongoing relevance," she added.
One critical role of the PRP Taskforce is to ensure the work of the Technical Working Groups is utilised at the national level and benefits the member countries.
A highlight of the meeting was presentations from the PRP Technical Working Groups co-chairs, who updated the Taskforce on progress around work relating to key regional issues such as water security, resilient housing, human mobility and disaster risk financing.
These groups of technical experts and stakeholders have been working together to ensure that we are making steady progress in addressing critical issues relating to resilience efforts within the region.
The meeting also enabled the Taskforce to reflect on the Pacific Resilience Standards - Integrate, Include, Inform and Sustain - which provide a tool for harmonising our efforts towards a resilient Pacific by helping operationalise the intent of the FRDP.
All in all, a fantastic start to the new year, and we look forward to more engaging discussions and sustaining successful regional collaborations as we make our way to building a more resilient Pacific!