Friday, October 17, 2008


Food and energy security in the region will be high on the agenda when the Forum Economic Ministers meet in Port Vila, Vanuatu, 27 – 29 October for their annual meeting.

“The agenda of this year’s FEMM reflects the direction provided by the Forum Leaders, particularly on the need for sharing national experiences around food and energy security and also to consider what regional cooperative efforts might help to mitigate some of the worst effects of the shifts in global prices,” says Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

Mr Slade adds: “There have been unprecedented developments in the global financial markets in recent weeks. With global economic slowdown associated with the financial crisis, the Forum Island Countries stand to be affected  through  an inevitable stifling of demand for our exports and services, including tourism, as well as possible reductions in aid inflows. .

“However, there are some positive developments as well in terms of the fall in oil prices, although commodity prices remain at much higher levels than we have experienced on average over the last five years. This remains a significant concern for policy makers in our region, particularly given the heavy reliance of our member countries on oil imports and the macroeconomic and household level impacts.”

“As requested by Forum Leaders at their meeting in Niue in August, the Forum Secretariat will present a proposal for regional cooperation in bulk procurement of petroleum products for discussion by the Ministers.  This is one of the fundamental regional mechanisms to provide supply security and address high fuel prices,” says Mr Slade.

The meeting in Port Vila will also get an update on the implementation of past decisions made by FEMM. In particular, discussions will include the development of regional support to audit services to improve integrity and financial security based on the progress made through the Pacific Regional Audit Initiative as well as on developments on temporary movement of labour.

Other issues on the agenda include regional options for assistance with economic regulation, and financial sector supervision in Forum Island Countries.

For more information, contact, Mr Sanjesh Naidu, the Forum Secretariat’s Economic Adviser, Economic Governance Programme, on phone 679 331 2600 or email:


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:05 AM

    Hope that discussions won't be held under closed doors this time around - particularly when pacific media personnels were locked out of the 2007 FEMM in Palau.

    Secondly, with the inclusion of peoples issues such as commodity prices, food and energy security, we hope that deliberations focuses on some new initiatives rather than holding the same discussions year in and year out.

    FEMM last year was a total waste of time and money for the Forum Secretariat. The amount of money used were about 2-3 folds more that the usual FEMM budget allocations. There hasn't been any substantial undertaking following decisions of economic Ministers at the 2007 FEMM meeting. Ministers and officials alike were just having a good time in Palau - taking fishing trips to the 'rock island' and attending meetings with sunglasses on to cover up the red eye (half asleep), hangover from the previous night's cocktail!! FEMM is now becoming more of a social gathering for Pacific ministers rather than discussing pertinent economic development issues that Pacific people tries to grapple with daily!!