NEW YORK, November: India has unveiled a new programme of assistance to the 14 Small Island Developing States and territories that are members of the Pacific Islands Forum.
The “Pacific Island Country Assistance Initiative” was unveiled by India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr. Shri E. Ahamed, at the conclusion of the Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Fiji on 27 October, 2006.
According to a press release of India’s Ministry of External Affairs, a grant amounting to $ 100,000 will be offered to each of the 14 Pacific Islands Countries and territories.
Under the programme, India will organise a workshop on sustainable development, waste management and water conservation and renewable energy; training for diplomats in Pacific Island countries; training for officials of Pacific Island countries in SME development and scholarships for students of Pacific Island Countries.
The United Nations High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, Mr. Anwarul K. Chowdhury, commended the initiative as a tangible manifestation of South-South solidarity with the most vulnerable countries.
“South-South cooperation is an important element of the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the further implementation of the Barbados Programme for Small Island Developing States. The proliferation and scaling up of such initiatives can make a real contribution to the sustainable development of the vulnerable countries,” he said.
The 14 Small Island Developing States and territories who are members of the Pacific Islands Forum are Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The other members of the Pacific Islands Forum are Australia and New Zealand.