Following is the text of a joint statement issued by the United States and Japan on the sidelines of the Pacific Island Forum meetings in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, on August 31, 2012.
Confirming that Pacific Island Countries (hereinafter referred to as ‘PICs’) have great potential for economic growth while facing various challenges, including sustainable development,
Renewing recognition of the growing importance to Japan and the United States of strengthening relations with PICs,
Recognizing the need to create open and multi-layered governmental and civil society networks in order to establish a prosperous and stable order in the Asia-Pacific region,
Acknowledging that the Communiqué of the Forty-Second Pacific Islands Forum identified certain areas and issues for focus in achieving sustainable economic development in PICs,
Bearing in mind the importance of disaster management measures in PICs, which have unique vulnerabilities to natural disasters,
Japan and the United States reaffirmed their continued dedication to promoting stability, prosperity, and sustainable development in the entire Pacific region.
The two countries reconfirmed the importance of ‘equal partnership’ and ‘respect for the Pacific Way’ as the basic principles of their coordination and collaboration with PICs. In order to provide greater impact and benefit to this critically important region, the two countries have identified the following areas as priorities for collaborative projects and efforts:
(1) Disaster management
• Improving the Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System
• Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief
(2) Environmental issues and climate change
• Forest conservation in Papua New Guinea
• Renewable Energy
(3) Overcoming vulnerabilities and promoting human security
• Removal of unexploded ordnance (UXO)
• Promotion of women’s issues and gender equality
• Addressing non-communicable diseases
(4) People-to-people exchanges and information sharing
• Intensifying dialogues between the Japanese ODA Taskforces and the Embassies of the United States/USAID to identify further areas for collaboration.
In light of the fact that the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan established a broader and more inclusive partnership among participants, including emerging economies, civil society organizations (CSOs) and the private sector, Japan and the United States continue their efforts to encourage all donor countries, emerging economies, and other actors to participate in endeavors for effective and transparent assistance that contributes to the economic growth of PICs.