12 Feb 2013

Pacific Plan review calls for pooling of sovereignty

1:11 pm on 12 February 2013

The man leading a review of the Pacific Plan says Pacific Islands countries will have to forgo some sovereignty if the document is to have value.

A former Papua New Guinea prime minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, says the Pacific Plan, put in place by the leaders of Pacific Islands Forum countries eight years ago to promote regionalism, has achieved little to date.

He says, in his discussions around the region so far, he has learnt that many countries do not feel a sense of ownership of the Plan.

Sir Mekere says to achieve the benefits of regional initiatives Pacific nations will need to trade off some of their sovereignty.

"I would call it pooling some of their sovereignty together so that we can implement some of these - areas that are very obvious but have not worked, for instance is bulk buying of fuel, bulk buying of pharmaceuticals. Obviously of benefit, potential benefit to smaller countries, but nothing has happened."

A former Papua New Guinea prime minister, Sir Mekere Morauta