The Human Development Programme



The Secretariat of the Pacific Community will host the Twelfth Conference of Pacific Women and the Fifth Pacific Ministers for Women meetings jointly with the Government of the Cook Islands and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Rarotonga, Cook Islands from 20-25 October 2013. The 12th Triennial will be held from 20-24 October. The 5th Pacific Ministers for Women Meeting will be held on 24-25 October.

The overall aim of the Conference and Ministerial meetings is to bring together Ministers and senior decision makers within governments, development partners, research institutions and civil society organisations to review and develop strategies for accelerating progress in the achievement of gender equality and women’s human rights in our region, in line with the Revised Pacific Platform for Action for Gender Equality and the Advancement of Women (RPPA) and other regional commitments on gender equality including most recently the Pacific Forum Leaders Gender Equality Declaration of 2012.



The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) successfully coordinated the Pacific Platform for Action (PPA) on Advancement of Women and Gender Equality that formed the basis of the Pacific region’s contribution and participation at the Beijing Conference in 1995. The PPA was formalised by the Noumea Declaration and endorsed at the 4th Regional Conference of Women and the 1st Ministerial Conference on Women and Sustainable Development held in Noumea in 1994.

The BPA identified twelve (12) critical areas of concern for gender equality and women’s empowerment, and the PPA identified thirteen (13) largely identical critical areas which provided additional contextual information and recommendations for action specific to our region. The 13 critical areas included: health, education and training, economic empowerment, agriculture and fishing, legal and human rights, shared decision-making, environment, culture and the family, mechanisms to promote the advancement of women, violence, peace and justice, poverty and indigenous people’s rights.

In 2004, the 9th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women reviewed the PPA including national and regional achievements, challenges, and obstacles. Ministers re-clustered the 13 critical areas of concern under four strategic themes in the Revised Pacific Platform for Action on Advancement of Women and Gender Equality 2005-2015 (RPPA):

  • Mechanisms to promote advancement of women;
  • Women’s legal and human rights;
  • Women’s access to services;
  • Economic empowerment of women.

Critical emerging issues were also identified and included: poverty eradication; globalisation and trade liberalisation; HIV and AIDS; labour migration; peace and security; tradition and religion; media, information, communication and technology; and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) including making them more applicable for the Pacific.

The 2nd Pacific Women Ministers Meeting adopted the RPPA in August 2004. Subsequent Triennial Conferences and Ministerial meetings in 2007, 2010 and 2011 have reviewed progress on implementation of the RPPA in Pacific island countries and territories.



The theme for the 2013 Conference and Ministerial will focus on celebrating progress on gender equality in the Pacific island region while discussing the future and where as Pacific nations we would like to position gender equality in the post 2015 development agenda at national and regional level.

The 12th Triennial Conference and 5th Pacific Ministers for Women meeting will focus on a detailed review of national and regional implementation of selected critical areas of concern, with discussion on strategies for accelerating progress.

The areas of focus of the Conference will correspond to the four strategic themes of the RPPA as follows:

  1. Launch of the Regional Millennium Development Goals Tracking Report 2013 for which this year’s theme is Gender Equality.
  2. Mechanisms to Promote the Advancement of Women
  3. Women’s Legal and Human Rights
  4. Women’s Access to Services
  5. Economic Empowerment of Women

Facilities will be provided for a limited number of side meetings and roundtables for any government, agencies and organisations wishing to organise and host such events.

Participants are expected to be familiar with the papers that will be forwarded in advance of the Conference, and with the BPA and RPPA, prior to the start of the Conference. This will enable positive and productive discussion to take place with a view to firm agreements and commitments on measures to accelerate progress on gender equality in the region.

Delegates will be expected to take the outcomes and recommendations of the Conference back to their respective Governments and Administrations, organisations and institutions for consideration, discussion and action at national level.
In order to facilitate more substantive high-level discussions and decisions at national level, the outcomes and recommendations of the Conference will be brought to the attention of Ministers at the 5th Pacific Minsters for Women Meeting on 24-25 October 2013.



The official venue for the meetings will be the National Auditorium in Rarotonga. Registration for both meetings will be from 3.00 - 5.00 pm on Sunday, 20 October at the meeting venue followed by the Official Opening of the 12th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women at 6..00 p.m. and a Welcome Dinner 7.30pm hosted by the Government of the Cook Islands. The Triennial Conference will close at lunchtime on Thursday, 24 October. The 5th Pacific Ministers for Women meeting will be officially opened at 6.00 p.m., Thursday, 24 October at the National Auditorium and followed by an official dinner at 7.30 p.m.

Delegates assisted by the SPC will be accommodated at the Edgewater Resort Hotel and transport to and from the meeting venue will be provided daily. For further information please contact: Linda Petersen, Manager, Human Development Programme, SPC, Noumea, New Caledonia on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


The Human Development Programme (HDP) is part of the Social Resources Division of SPC. It was formed by a merger of the Community Education and Training Centre (CETC), and the former Cultural Affairs Programme, Pacific Youth Bureau and Pacific Women’s Bureau.


The SPC Human Development Programme (HDP) works to improve people’s opportunities for safe, secure and sustainable livelihoods. The HDP has a particular focus on bringing gender, youth, culture and community education to the forefront of development.


The Programme aims to nurture an all-inclusive approach across all sectors to maximise the development potential of the entire community and help people achieve a better quality of life. The promotion of cultural industries is a key priority of the department.



Examples of activities:

  • Work with governments, non-government agencies and communities to promote more balanced and people-centred development
  • Improve data and statistics on human development issues
  • Undertake research on emerging issues such as gender based violence and child abuse
  • Provide training to strengthen community-based approaches
  • Assist with regional and international events such as the Festival of Pacific Arts and the Pacific Youth Festival




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