Pacific Government Ministries met in Port Vila, Vanuatu and discussed key population issues in the region. This resulted in the Port Vila Declaration describing key population issues to be raised at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in 1996.
ICPD held in Cairo, Egypt where a “Programme of Action” was adopted.
Pacific Parliamentarians met in Nadi and formed the Pacific Parliamentary Assembly on Population and Development (PPAPD). In establishing the Assembly, Parliamentarians pledged their commitment to sharing their experiences and resources to address common challenges in the area of population, environment and food security. PPAPD is a Pacific regional body of Parliamentarians from all 14 Pacific Island countries whose goal is to promote population and development issues, such as the combat of HIV/AIDS, Reproductive Health and Gender issues in the Pacific region. The PPAPD adopted the 1997 PPAPD Constitution.
Pacific Ministries met in Nadi to formulate a Pacific response to the ICPD Plan of Action which was to be discussed at the UN Meeting in Netherlands.
Pacific Planners met in Noumea, New Caledonia at a Regional Seminar to discuss progress in population and development.
Pacific leaders met in Suva at the Pacific Islands Forum where population and development issues were discussed and where Forum leaders expressed concerns over increasing problems related to rapid population growth in the midst of scarce resources.
The first Meeting of the PPAPD was held in the Warwick Hotel, Sigatoka, Fiji. The Meeting:
· acknowledged the important role Pacific Island Governments and Parliamentarians can play in advocating for population and development issues in the Pacific;
· upheld the principles and objectives of PPAPD established in 1997;
· revised and adopted the 1997 PPAPD Constitution and PPAPD By-Laws; and· agreed that the PPAPD membership includes all Forum Island countries and welcomed Australia and New Zealand as full and equal members of the Assembly. The Meeting also appointed the Executive Committee of the Assembly comprising 5 Members:
- Chairperson – Fiji Speaker
- Three Vice-Chairperson: Speakers from Vanuatu (Melanesia); Tuvalu (Polynesia); and Palau (Micronesia)
- Treasurer (Australian Speaker)
The Meeting agreed that the first Meeting of the PPAPD Executive Committee be held in 2004.
A regional project titled “Population and Development Advocacy – Increasing Political Will” was approved and signed between UNFPA and SPC. The project, to be implemented by PPAPD aims to strengthen PPAPD’s work in promoting population and development through parliamentary advocacy and support in Pacific Island countries.
PPAPD Executive and Parliamentary Clerks Meeting on “Population and Development” was held at the Warwick Hotel, Fiji. Twelve Clerks from 10 of the 17 PPAPD member countries participated. The Meeting was primarily aimed at seeking the support of Pacific Island Clerks for PPAPD programmes and activities. It recognized the crucial role Clerks play in the business of MPs and the useful links they would form with the PPAPD Secretariat when it is established. Unfortunately, in the absence of the required quorum, the Meeting of the Executive Committee was postponed.
The 1st Conference for Pacific Parliamentarians on “The Role of Pacific Parliamentarians in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS.” The 3-day Meeting was held at the Tradewinds Convention Centre in Lami, Fiji. The Meeting provided a forum for informing Parliamentarians about basic facts on HIV/AIDS – what it is, how it is spread, its effect on the infected person and its wide psycho-social, cultural and economic impact on individuals, families and nations. It was attended by 70 Parliamentarians and a further 70 HIV/AIDS advocates. Participating countries included – Australia, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshal Islands, New Zealand, Niue, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
The Meeting encouraged Parliamentarians to become champions in leading the fight against HIV/AIDS in our communities. It was organized by PPAPD in close collaboration with UNFPA, and SPC. The Meeting reinforced the importance of national and regional commitment in implementing “The Regional Strategy on HIV/AIDS 2004/2008” which was endorsed by the Forum Island leaders at their meeting in Samoa in August 2004. The Meeting formulated “The Suva Declaration on HIV/AIDS by Pacific Parliamentarians” and adopted it on 13th October, 2004. The Declaration included legislative action and resource mobilization.
A PPAPD Executive Committee was also to be held during the Meeting. However, this did not occur because of a lack of a quorum (where 4 out of 5 members were not able to attend). An Extraordinary PPAPD Meeting was held instead.
The PPAPD Secretariat was established at the Fiji Parliament and a PPAPD Coordinator, Ms Meri Tuiloma was recruited.
Registration of PPAPD in Fiji: The Government of Fiji formally endorsed PPAPD and acknowledged its existence at the Fiji Parliament.
A PPAPD Executive Committee Meeting was planned but did not take place because a quorum was not formed. The Executive Committee Meeting was to endorse the PPAPD Workplan and the work of the Secretariat and to seek endorsement for holding the 2006 PPAPD Biennial General Assembly. Instead the opportunity was taken to hold a PPAPD Planning Meeting, because of the lack of quorum for the Executive Committee Meeting. Tuvalu was the only Executive Committee member present apart from the PPAPD Chair. A planning meeting was held instead. The Planning Meeting agreed to commence liaison with PNG on the hosting of the 2nd Biennial meeting around October 2006.
Hon. Pita Kewa Nacuva was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, Fiji Parliament, and thereby assumes the role of Chairperson PPAPD.
Confirmation from Samoa to host 2nd PPAPD Biennial Conference and the thematic conference on “Safeguarding Pacific Youths: Accelerating Action Through Partnership with Pacific Parliamentarians”.