HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 601: 01 February 2012

Development Partners Roundtable 2012
Following is an edited excerpt of the opening address made by Hon. Minister Mark Brown, chair of the Development Partners Round Table 2012

Let me extend a warm welcome to all on behalf of the government and thank for your participation in this round table meeting. The theme for the meeting is ‘atui’anga maoraora’, which means ‘share’. In this spirit we approach the meeting and our relationship with our partners.
This forum provides government with the opportunity to accentuate key issues for enhancing the delivery of development assistance and discuss the challenges we face in coordinating the effective use of these resources.
Government is aware that it is only through constructive dialogue that we will enhance our partnerships and forge stronger alliances. The high level forum on aid effectiveness in Busan, Korea recognised “that we are united by a new partnership that is broader and more inclusive than ever before, founded on shared principals, common goals and differential commitments for effective international development.”
This partnership includes heads of state, minsters and representatives of developing and developed countries, heads of multilateral and bilateral institutions, representatives of different types of public, civil society, private sector, parliamentary, local and regional organisations. We all need to work together for effective development cooperation.
It’s about nine months since our last meeting and I think that today’s agenda provides us with the opportunity to discuss important issues that have been the focus of our work since then.
April 2011 was the first Cook Island development partner meeting. It is worthwhile looking back at our efforts towards coordinating our approach to development effectiveness to achieve National Priorities and Outcomes.
At that meeting I highlighted some of the challenges and plans for the govt. One of the key actions we were focussing on at the time was the review of our first National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP) and the drafting of the next plan
We also discussed plans for undertaking a Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessment framework. We shared a draft of our Official Development Assistance (ODA) Policy and outlined our commitment to undertaking a public sector functional review.
Some of the priority areas touched upon at the April meeting included the economy, water, renewable energy and the environmental concerns relating to waste and sanitation.
What has happened since that meeting and have we seen any results? I believe we have made good progress.
The NSDP has been reviewed and the next one completed and launched.
The PEFA has been accomplished and we have developed a public financial management roadmap. The map has been developed internally and ensures that our journey to reform and improve public financial management system is ours.
We’ve also completed a functional review of government, one that will provide us with options on how to get the best from our public service.
Our ODA Policy has been finalised after further consultation with our local stakeholders and development partners. We are currently working on the implementation plan and resourcing options. The climate change office has also been established in the prime minister’s office to coordinate all activities relating to climate change.
A lot of work has been done in the priority areas identified in April. The renewable energy chart and implementation plan has been developed. The goverment is also committed to coordinating development partners in the water sector over the coming months in a partnership approach.
Progress is solid in sanitation with pilot projects underway in Muri and options assessment for high level sanitation design solutions for Rarotonga and Aitutaki is currently at tender.
Overall improvement has been positive and the systems we are establishing follows solid democratic principles, the rule of law, the principal of transparent governance, attaining results and mutual accountability. It is reassuring to note that our improving public financial management system provides the impetus for the European Union to start the process towards budget support.
Today meeting agenda seeks to build on what we have already achieved.
By the end of the day, I believe we will come out with shared ideas and principals to achieve common goals. These include:
- An understanding of development goals through the NSDP
- Recognition and support of our efforts towards more effective institutions and policies
- Coordinated support for our development needs in priority areas
I look forward to the discussion before us. -Ngariki Ngatae

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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