The Pacific Islands Forum has been granted approval to establish a Permanent Observer Office at the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG).
Mere Falemaka, the Permanent Representative in the Permanent Delegation of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) presented her letter of appointment as Observer to the UNOG in Geneva to the UNOG Director General Michael Moller.
The regional representative’s office will now be known as the Permanent Delegation of the Pacific Islands Forum to the United Nations, World Trade Organization, and Other International Organizations in Geneva.
This accreditation will not change the current trade mandate of the Forum Geneva Office; any expansion beyond this mandate remains a matter for Forum Leaders to decide.
Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor said the Permanent Observer status would entrench the presence of the Blue Pacific region in, and strengthen its links to the United Nations organisations, including its specialised agencies, programmes, fund initiatives and joint programmes.
“The current mandate of the Pacific Islands Forum’s presence in Geneva means that we will initially prioritise intensified cooperation with the United Nations Organisations who are active in the area of trade development; areas of cooperation may expand in the future based on the determination of our political leadership,” Dame Meg said.
“As a permanent observer we look forward to enhanced visibility of Pacific trade-related needs, more direct access to senior offices within the trade-related organisations, and improved information from trade-related organisations.”
Dame Meg encouraged Forum Members to take advantage of the services of the Permanent Delegation of the Pacific Islands Forum to the United Nations, World Trade Organisation, and Other International Organisations in Geneva.
The accreditation to the UNOG strengthens the Pacific’s regional representation in Geneva and provides a foundation for partnership and collaboration between the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the trade-related international agencies based there.
At their 1999 meeting, Pacific Islands Forum Leaders the establishment of a regional representative office in Geneva, to defend their trade interests and to participate in the negotiation of global trading rules. The decision was in recognition of the significant impact that the WTO rules would have on the economies of the Forum Members.