Monday, October 13, 2008


Hotel Grand Chancellor, Auckland, New Zealand


8 – 9 October 2008



1.         Representatives from Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu were present at the meeting.  The meeting was chaired by Honourable Lisiate ‘Aloveita ‘Akolo, Minister for Labour, Commerce and Industries and Acting Minister for Agriculture, Food, Forest and Fisheries, Tonga. Also present were representatives from the ADB, the PPA, SOPAC, UN-ESCAP, and the World Bank, along with representatives of the private sector.


2.                              Officials expressed their gratitude to the Government of New Zealand for its support in hosting and funding the meeting.


3.                              After Forum Leaders underlined the need for urgent action, the Meeting of national experts was convened to provide relevant advice to various Ministers’ Meetings aimed at expediting implementation of the initiative. Officials noted with concern that the availability, accessibility or affordability of petroleum products can have a serious impact on island economies, and determined to take a regional approach to address this common concern. Officials learnt from each other’s experiences, particularly those of Samoa and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) on their petroleum import procurement strategies, and the challenges and the benefits of such approaches. Officials also noted that the impact of high and volatile prices on the region’s power utilities adversely affects service delivery.


4.                              Officials considered and reviewed a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the immediate implementation of a Pacific Petroleum Project.  Officials recommend that the project :


(a)           provides a strategic focus on the procurement of the regions core energy needs, including security of supplies, management of strategic petroleum storage, risk management, strengthened domestic pricing policy frameworks and increased private sector participation in the downstream petroleum distribution sector;

(b)          identifies optimum clusters of countries where the pooling of resources will improve negotiation for petroleum supply contracts, leverage purchasing power, and minimise the transaction costs for procurement activities;

(c)           helps achieve optimum resource allocation, avoid duplication of effort and ensure that planning and regulation reflects energy security goals and priorities as set out in the Pacific Islands Energy Policy, and respective National Energy Policies;  and

(d)          promotes regional cohesion and encourage long-term thinking and commitment to strategic options for the on-going procurement of petroleum products and supplies.

5.                              The Officials agreed on the substantive provisions of the draft Memorandum of Understanding establishing the Pacific Petroleum Project, and further, agreed to recommend it for consideration and signature by Forum Economic Ministers or Pacific Energy Ministers at their upcoming meetings.


Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat,

Auckland, New Zealand.

09 October 2008


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