Declaration of the Fourth France-Oceania Summit [fr]
(Paris, 26 November 2015)
1. We, the Heads of State and government or representatives of Pacific Island Countries and Territories, in the presence of the representatives of the European Union and other invited countries, and international and regional organisations, taking part in the 4th France-Pacific Summit, call on the international community, which will meet in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015 for the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to recognise the urgency of tackling climate change and of implementing targeted solutions to build the resilience of Pacific Island Countries and Territories, as well as the necessity of progressing towards low-carbon economies.
2. The Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum expressed their deepest sympathies and condolences to the Government and people of the French Republic for the tragic loss of life and damage caused by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. The Summit acknowledged the fundamental importance of cooperative multilateral action to address international terrorism and extremism.
3. We recognise that Pacific Island Countries are amongst the most vulnerable in the world and that Pacific Territories are also highly vulnerable. The impact of climate change threatens their territorial integrity, food security, water, health, infrastructure, livelihoods and economies and, more broadly, their populations and ecosystems. We expect COP21 to lead to a universal, legally binding, dynamic, durable and ambitious agreement that will establish rules and mechanisms to limit global warming consistent with the ultimate objective of the Convention.
4. We call for the inclusion in the Paris outcome of loss and damage as a critical and standalone element for building resilience against climate change impacts, including responding to extreme weather and slow onset events, and builds on the ongoing work of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage.
5. We affirm our will to strengthen our multi-actor cooperation to implement national climate action plans as outlined in Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). We note the current international pledges for action as contained in submitted INDCs. We call on country Parties that are yet to submit their INDCs to do so as soon as possible. We welcome the Lima-Paris Action Agenda, and hope that this will deliver access to renewable energy for all States and territories of the Pacific, and the SIDS Lighthouse initiative.
6. In the areas of adaptation and mitigation, we draw attention to the specific challenges, features and needs of the Pacific island countries and territories and call for rapid and where possible direct access to the funds raised, particularly through the Green Climate Fund, the Adaptation Fund and other multilateral sources. We emphasize that funds for adaptation should be grant-based and, where possible, could also apply to mitigation actions.
7. We seek to strengthen existing information, prevention and management systems for disasters by expanding training and integrating traditional know-how. We affirm our support for the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) initiative, which strives to significantly increase the capacity of early warning systems to predict hydro-meteorological and climate events that endanger Small Island Developing States. We encourage its deployment to the National Meteorological Services and the National Disaster Management offices in the region. In light of the region-wide effects of Cyclone Pam in 2015, we welcome all efforts taken to improve regional coordination on disaster management.
8. We welcome the commitment of France, Australia and New Zealand to assisting the region with natural disaster relief under the FRANZ Agreement and recognize the emerging support provided by Pacific Island Countries and Territories. We appreciate the efforts to respond to Tropical Cyclone Pam and Typhoon Maysak in 2015, which devastated several island nations. The Summit notes that France has undertaken to continue its assistance with the support of the authorities in New Caledonia and French Polynesia with its resources in Noumea and Papeete, as it has been done in the past.
9. The Summit notes France’s confirmation that the French Development Agency (AFD) will pursue a new phase of the Restoration of Ecosystem Services and adaptation to Climate Change (RESCCUE) programme; that the French Global Environment Facility (FGEF/FFEM), in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), will launch a project on climate change resilience in 2016; and that in order to support the SPREP more effectively, France will assign a new seconded expert to Apia in 2016.
10. We recognise that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), SAMOA Pathway, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for Financing for Development (Addis Agenda), which together constitute the framework for implementing poverty elimination and sustainable development actions. We welcome the substantial contributions from all members of the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP), the Pacific Island Development Forum and various sub-regional agencies that can play a role in supporting Countries and Territories to achieve the SDGs. In order to support the Pacific Community’s (SPC’s) actions, the Summit notes that in 2016 France will define a framework document on actions for a multi-year cooperation strategy with this organisation.
11. We recognise the importance of cooperation in ocean management in the region and further encourage enhanced cooperation between the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner, the Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific, and other agencies, territories and stakeholders.
12. We will ensure integrated approaches to the sustainable development, management, surveillance enforcement and conservation of our maritime zones, our fish resources and our land and forests. In partnership with international community, we will continue to use appropriate technologies including satellite-imaging technology to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported exploitation of the seas, and similarly, the land and the forests. We will support the creation of marine protected areas, effectively and locally managed and connected, as well as regulated fishing zones, to provide good governance of fisheries, with the support of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO), the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), SPC, SPREP and other sub-regional organisations. Regarding fish stocks management, we encourage the adoption of Target Reference Points and Harvest strategies, commensurate with the objectives of the plan adopted at the WCPFC in 2014, for States to meet their obligations in the areas beyond national jurisdiction, and for the development of cooperation systems to control and monitor the traceability of Pacific fish stocks.
13. We recognise the inextricable role between the ocean and climate in the Pacific. We will work to preserve coral reefs, mangroves and other marine and costal ecosystems that contribute actively to the protection of the coastline, to carbon storage, to the quality of coastal waters and to the sustainable management of fish resources, that are important to Pacific peoples’ food security and cultural integrity, but which are currently threatened inter alia by increased sea temperature affecting stocks migration, sea level rise, extreme weather phenomena; and ocean acidification.
14. We therefore undertake to strengthen cooperation between all the Pacific Island Countries and Territories in the exchange of technical information, capacity building, preparedness to disasters and health hazards as well as areas of maritime surveillance and transmission of data about fishing and security vessels. We welcome the Pacific Islands Ocean Acidification Partnership project, supported by the government of New Zealand, coordinated by SPREP in partnership with SPC and the University of the South Pacific, aimed at building resilience to ocean acidification in the Pacific islands region.
15. The Summit supports ongoing efforts to define a strict legal and policy framework for the exploitation of undersea mineral resources, particularly through the International Seabed Authority, and the work undertaken in the Pacific by the SPC Deep Sea Minerals Programme. We welcome scientific and technical capacity building efforts to optimise opportunities to engage in ecologically sound use of resources.
16. With a view to the sustainable development respectful of the Earth and particularly the Pacific region, we call for the expansion of intra-regional trade flows, together with the European Union and France, so that regional integration and economic growth benefits all the Pacific Island Countries and Territories. This includes support for French Territories in the Pacific to accede to relevant regional trade agreements, as a pathway to increased trade, investment and integration between and within the region through enhanced cooperation. We encourage business development in the Pacific "blue" and "green" economies as well as initiatives to connect the small and medium-sized business communities in the region. We agree that tourism, which is a fast-growing sector worldwide, and in particular cruise tourism, has high economic potential. However, they must operate sustainably. There must be compliance with environmental, cultural and social constraints; strict evaluation and control of the pressure they exert on the host countries and territories; and development of eco-tourism that respects local conditions and the fragility of the ecosystem. We applaud the action of the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) for the development of the Pacific Cruise Tourism Development Strategy (PCTDS, 2015-2019), approved by the Council of Ministers of Tourism on 15 October 2015, in Papeete, Tahiti.
17. We encourage initiatives to enhance the interconnection of the Pacific Island Countries and Territories by expanding air and sea links and electronic communications, to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge to benefit the region’s development and integration into the global economy.
18. With the prioritisation of ICT by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders at their 2015 meeting, the Summit welcomes cooperation between countries on this matter, including territories, and the European Union’s support to the project of connecting the territory of Wallis and Futuna to the undersea fibre optic cable that will link the Independent State of Samoa to the Republic of Fiji. We commend France’s willingness to work with the Pacific Islands Forum and the Countries and Territories of the region on interconnection projects that are vital for the development of the Island Countries and Territories of the Pacific. Additional cooperation with New Caledonia, French Polynesia, and Wallis & Futuna on ICT issues would be welcome.
19. We wish to increase cultural and people-to-people exchanges that respect the diversity of languages, cultures and traditions in the region. We support plans for UNESCO listing of outstanding sites in the Pacific. Recalling the declaration of the 3rd France-Oceania summit to promote intra-regional mobility, we wish to facilitate the movement of people in order to strengthen relations between Pacific Countries and Territories and facilitate the mobility of young people in school, university, language, sports and training contexts.
20. We are committed to promoting the role of women and youth in Pacific societies. We recognize that fully promoting and engaging gender-based equality is essential for effective sustainable development action, including climate change. We recognize the importance of engaging, as equal partners, civil society, women, youth, and persons with disabilities in all efforts towards combating climate change. We call for support to enable a greater involvement of community, civil society and the private sector in our climate change responses and initiatives.
21. We acknowledge the contribution of the French language to the cultural and linguistic richness of the region. We recall the importance of multilingualism in the Pacific international organisations and encourage the “Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie” to expand its activities and partnerships in the Pacific.
22. We are aware of the benefits of expanding cooperation with research institutes and universities in New Caledonia and French Polynesia, whose scientific value is recognised. We encourage the development of Pacific-based research and technology capacity in all learning institutions in the region as an essential foundation for innovation. We encourage human and institutional capacity building on formal and non-formal education, knowledge management, with a particular emphasis on national languages and communication.
23. We support an inclusive regional architecture, and welcome the contribution of all regional stakeholders, countries, territories, regional organisations and Non-State Actors to the sustainable development of the region. We also recognise the contribution of New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Wallis & Futuna to the development of the region through their own actions and their aspiration for greater integration into the region. We recognise the aspirations of New Caledonia and French Polynesia to become full members of the Pacific Islands Forum, and for the Pacific Islands Forum members and the territories to deepen cooperation in this respect.
24. We share the values and objectives of the Framework for Pacific Regionalism adopted at the Pacific Islands Forum in Palau in 2014.
25. We recognize the value of further strengthening the relationship between Oceania and France and the French territories of Oceania through regular dialogue and meetings, including the organisation of the 5th France-Oceania Summit. We acknowledge the commitment to hold biennial high-level talks between France and the Pacific Islands Forum Chair in this regard.