Heads of maritime and energy administrations have gathered in Port Vila, Vanuatu, to discuss and agree on regional issues, challenges and opportunities for an improved governance of the energy and transport sectors and the request for support from the various development partners committed to energy and transport in the Pacific.
The three-day regional workshop, which began today, is hosted by the Government of Vanuatu in collaboration with the Pacific Community (SPC) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
“The Government of Vanuatu is particularly proud to host the regional meeting for Heads of Maritime and Energy in order to prepare the Third Energy and Transport Ministers Meeting in 2017 as it fits the national green development aspirations in Vanuatu and national plans to provide secure, affordable, widely accessible, high quality, clean energy and transport services leading towards the national development vision of ‘an educated, healthy, and wealthy nation,” the Minister for Public Utilities, Hon. Jotham Naphat, said.
Sustainable maritime transport is a cross-cutting issue and a key driver towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, with many of these goals particularly being relevant for maritime transport in the Pacific due to its uniqueness in terms of geography, population size and dispersion over a vast ocean, political organisation and traditions.
As the Pacific region progresses in implementing transport initiatives at the regional and national levels driven by international obligations and regional collaboration, the triennial Regional Transport Ministers’ meetings along with regular meetings of transport officials provide a medium-term roadmap for addressing emerging transport issues.
Following the second Regional Energy and Transport Ministers’ meeting held in Nadi, Fiji, in April 2014, several national and regional initiatives have been undertaken to improve the governance of maritime transport in order to facilitate trade and support economic development of Pacific Island countries and territories; steer the transportation system towards a greener economy and low carbon development; and improve the consistent global implementation of international maritime conventions.
The economic contribution of Pacific women through their participation and involvement in the maritime sector also constitutes opportunities for the future of the Pacific maritime sector.
SPC’s Deputy Director-General (Suva), Dr Audrey Aumua, said that “this week’s discussion and work will provide us the opportunity to look at maritime transport and energy as key drivers of sustainable development in the global context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the regional frameworks for resilient development and Pacific Regionalism”.
Dr Aumua also highlighted the question: which of the current or future actions at the regional and national level in the maritime transport and energy sectors are the most relevant and effective to achieve the global, regional and national goals?
Participants will be encouraged to raise and agree on issues and requests to be presented at the third Energy and Transport Ministers’ meeting in April, 2017 for endorsement.
The workshop ends on Friday, 9 December 2016.