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Emerging Pacific Leaders’ Dialogue: “Navigating our Future Together”. Pulling together the threads: weaving a tapestry out of experience, beliefs, dreams Richard Bedford Migration Research Group University of Waikato. Ma wei e to te waka o te matauranga?

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Emerging Pacific Leaders’ Dialogue: “Navigating our Future Together”

Pulling together the threads:weaving a tapestry out of experience, beliefs, dreamsRichard BedfordMigration Research GroupUniversity of Waikato


A proverb

  • Ma wei e to te waka o te matauranga? Future Together”

  • Maku e to, mau e to, ma te whakarongo e to.

  • Who will bear the canoe of knowledge?

  • I will, you will, all those who listen will.

A proverb


Navigating our future together

Navigating our future together? Future Together”

  • “Navigating implies you know where you are going and have an ability to read the signs and conditions you find en route”

  • HRH The Princess Royal.


Navigating our future together1

Navigating our future together? Future Together”

  • The rudder of good governance is not only essential to navigate towards our future together, it is also critical to developing a collective vision of what the future should be.”

  • Fiji Group 3.


My navigator training

  • Learning to sail in Kiribati and Tuvalu Future Together”

  • Grappling with “kastom” in Vanuatu

  • Participating in “development” on Bougainville

  • Appreciating smallness in eastern Fiji

  • Understanding Polynesian demography

  • Acknowledging indigenous peoples in Aotearoa and Australia

My navigator training


Memorable phrases

  • “I want to be someone” Future Together”

  • “Our identity lies ahead of us”

  • “Good leaders will invest in young people and women and seek their participation in decision-making”

  • “Can we grow the seeds of both custom and globalisation?”

  • “Diversity is not about how we differ. It’s about celebrating our differences”

Memorable phrases


More memorable phrases

  • “Good leaders acknowledge the present, respect the past, and look to the future”

  • “To build a nation you need a collective vision and people willing to work together to navigate the future”

  • “There is a need for a whole of nation paradigm shift to calm the race-based stormy seas”

  • “Stones crumble, but words live forever”

More memorable phrases


Rich and diverse stories

  • Melanesia at microscale: realities of life for families/communities in diverse societies. “Wan smolbag” would be impressed …

  • Micronesian pragmatism: resilience, optimism and commitment. Distinctive solutions in distinctive environments.

  • Polynesian confidence: strong cultures, linked peoples, homes in many countries.

Rich and diverse stories


The epld 2006 themes

The EPLD 2006 themes


Economic growth

  • “The future of our region will depend on the sustainability of our environment, our natural resources, our well-being, our people, and the growth of our economies”

  • Fiji, Group 4.

  • Pacific 2020: “Without an upturn in economic growth, the future for these countries is at best uncertain and at worst, bleak”

Economic growth


Regional cooperation

  • “Good leaders will choose the best solution for their community and consider the merits of regional cooperation on a case-by-case basis”

  • Cook Is and NZ, Group 7.

  • Pacific 2020: “Integration and regional cooperation are not options for Pacific Island countries, but necessities borne of their small sizes”

Regional cooperation


Good governance

  • “It became increasingly clear through the week that governance is the frame on which the tapestry is woven”

  • Fiji, Group 3.

  • Pacific 2020: “Improving political governance is a long-term challenge, but perhaps the most important one facing the Pacific between now and 2020”

Good governance


Security and stability

  • “Any analysis must be informed by knowledge of deeper and enduring socio-cultural beliefs, accord and conflicts if it is to be helpful to leaders and communities”

  • Solomons and Vanuatu, Group 5.

  • Pacific 2020: “The most immediate and widespread challenges are unemployment and joblessness -- leading to poverty, frustration and, social instability”

Security and stability


Environment

  • “Finding the balance between utilising resources for financial benefit and maintaining the environment for future generations is a major challenge”

  • PNG, Group 1.

  • Pacific 2020: Oceanic fisheries, coastal fishing, and forestry are approaching the limits of sustainability and face environmental risk.

Environment


Education

  • “Schooling in Kiribati is free up to Junior Secondary level and atrtendance is compulsory … Young people are the country’s greatest asset”

  • Kiribati, Group 10.

  • Pacific 2020: “Better provision of basic education services and greater emphasis on vocational training will build human capital”.

Education


Health

Health


Women

  • “Urgent work is required to address the issue of violence against women, because until women are emancipated from the disempowering impacts of domestic violence, true gender equity and full economic and social participation of women will not occur”

  • Solomons and Vanuatu, Group 5, and many other groups, especially in Melanesia.

Women


Positive perspectives

  • The range of perspectives and voices was impressive, but a Pacific custom of respect saw the positive dominating over the negative; hopes crowding out despair; pride overcoming pessimism.

  • Yet there were sobering realities in all reports and the excellent metaphorical expressions of the canoe (Tonga) and the M’waka (New Caledonia), revealed much.

Positive perspectives


Some realities

  • The Melanesian “youth boom” Pacific custom of respect saw the positive dominating over the negative; hopes crowding out despair; pride overcoming pessimism.

  • The slow growth in employment

  • Deteriorating infrastructure

  • Pollution of fresh water and reefs

  • Increasing vulnerability to hazard

  • Persistent discrimination against women

Some realities


The challenge

  • Sir William Deane captured the essence of the challenge in the following words:

  • “These are uncertain times in the Pacific and the task ahead for decision-makers is one of utmost difficulty and responsibility. … we must all strive to ensure that increasing interdependence across borders and seas should not be at the expense of the values that bind and sustain our communities”

The challenge


The challenge1

  • Sir Paul Reeves reminded us that: the following words:

  • “Each generation must navigate its passage and its success depends heavily on the quality of its leadership …. As we in the Pacific move into the 21st Century, the demands on leadership in our region have never been greater”

The challenge


The challenge2

  • AusAID in its the following words:Pacific 2020 report observed that while there is high unemployment and joblessness in many parts of the region,

  • “the Pacific 2020 process brought out the huge potential for development that exists across the region…. Success will mean different things in different countries, but there is certainly a success story to be lived out by every Pacific island country, from the largest to the smallest”

The challenge


A doomsday scenario

  • This is a more optimistic scenario than one 13 years ago when Pacific 2010 forecast that:

  • “By 2010, population growth is careering beyond control; it has doubled to 9 million … malnutrition is spreading and is already endemic in squatter settlements … there are beggars on the streets of every South Pacific town … levels of unemployment are high … deaths from AIDs, heart disease and cancers have greatly increased …”

A “Doomsday” scenario?


Looking ahead

  • Over the next 50 years the region’s island populations are projected to double again to around 16 million. Melanesia’s population in 2050 will be four times larger than that in New Zealand. There may be many abandoned small isolated islands in the Pacific but the populations of all major regions will be larger than they have ever been.

Looking ahead ….


The population situation around 1800

The Population Situation Around 1800 are projected to double again to around 16 million. Melanesia’s population in 2050 will be four times larger than that in New Zealand. There may be many abandoned small isolated islands in the Pacific but the populations of all major regions will be larger than they have ever been.


The population situation around 1900

The Population Situation Around 1900 are projected to double again to around 16 million. Melanesia’s population in 2050 will be four times larger than that in New Zealand. There may be many abandoned small isolated islands in the Pacific but the populations of all major regions will be larger than they have ever been.


The population situation around 2000

The Population Situation Around 2000 are projected to double again to around 16 million. Melanesia’s population in 2050 will be four times larger than that in New Zealand. There may be many abandoned small isolated islands in the Pacific but the populations of all major regions will be larger than they have ever been.


The population situation around 2050

The Population Situation Around 2050 are projected to double again to around 16 million. Melanesia’s population in 2050 will be four times larger than that in New Zealand. There may be many abandoned small isolated islands in the Pacific but the populations of all major regions will be larger than they have ever been.


Population change 1800 2050

Population change, 1800-2050 are projected to double again to around 16 million. Melanesia’s population in 2050 will be four times larger than that in New Zealand. There may be many abandoned small isolated islands in the Pacific but the populations of all major regions will be larger than they have ever been.


Population change 1800 20501

Population change 1800-2050 are projected to double again to around 16 million. Melanesia’s population in 2050 will be four times larger than that in New Zealand. There may be many abandoned small isolated islands in the Pacific but the populations of all major regions will be larger than they have ever been.


The demographic challenge

  • The Eminent Persons’ Group Review of the Pacific Islands Forum recommended, amongst other things, in 2004, that Forum Leaders “Listen to the needs and aspirations of the burgeoning population of young people in the region, and recognise the impact of bigger and more youthful populations on the resources required for education and vocational training, healthcare and job opportunities”

The demographic challenge


Diverse demographies

Diverse Demographies Forum recommended, amongst other things, in 2004, that Forum Leaders “Listen to the needs and aspirations of the burgeoning population of young people in the region, and recognise the impact of bigger and more youthful populations on the resources required for education and vocational training, healthcare and job opportunities”

  • Australasia – replacement migration?

  • Polynesia – depopulation or repopulation?

  • Melanesia – overpopulation or emigration?

  • Micronesia – decolonisation or recolonisation?


Supply of labour

Supply of Labour Forum recommended, amongst other things, in 2004, that Forum Leaders “Listen to the needs and aspirations of the burgeoning population of young people in the region, and recognise the impact of bigger and more youthful populations on the resources required for education and vocational training, healthcare and job opportunities”

  • Australasia -- shortages of skilled and unskilled labour

  • Polynesia – shortages of skilled and unskilled labour in several countries

  • Melanesia – oversupply of labour, especially unskilled

  • Micronesia – shortages of skilled and unskilled labour in several countries


Resolving labour supply issues

  • Australasia -- immigration of skilled labour; consideration of guest-worker schemes for unskilled labour

  • Polynesia – immigration of skilled and some unskilled labour

  • Melanesia – absorbing surplus labour in rural areas and urban informal sector

  • Micronesia – immigration of skilled and unskilled labour

Resolving Labour Supply Issues


The melanesian dilemma

  • Small formal sectors to the economy of guest-worker schemes for unskilled labour

  • Low percentages of population in urban residence (especially PNG, Sols, Vanuatu)

  • Increasing pressure on productive land resources and weak markets for rural commodities

  • Very limited outlets for emigration of labour (especially PNG, Sols, Vanuatu)

The Melanesian Dilemma


Approvals for residence temporary work and study

Approvals for Residence, Temporary Work and Study of guest-worker schemes for unskilled labour


A navigator looks ahead

  • Fiji sociologist, Vijay Naidu, observed recently in his address “The Pacific Region’s Global Challenges: Beyond the Doom and Gloom”: “A critical issue for regional co-operation and integration is the scope for Melanesian labour migration to Australia and New Zealand.” He saw such migration acting as a safety valve for the sending countries in the short-term, and over time building capacity amongst islanders by enhancing skills and entrepreneurship.

A navigator looks ahead …


A navigator looks ahead1

  • Fuimaono Les McCarthy, CEO of MPIA, argued in a contribution to a book on “Securing a Peaceful Pacific” that “People from New Zealand’s many [Pacific] diasporas can and do play significant individual and collective roles in helping secure a peaceful Pacific”. John Henderson, political scientist at Canterbury University suggested “there may be a positive example here for Australia to consider, as it searches for ways to promote greater stability in Melanesia.”

A navigator looks ahead …


Pacific people are travellers

  • Arguably the most contentious demographic issue confronting Australia, New Zealand and other Pacific countries during the next half century will be how to cope with pressure for an emigration outlet from Melanesia. Sustainable development in this part of the Pacific will depend heavily on opportunities for young people to travel overseas for training and employment, just as it does in New Zealand, Australia and Polynesia.

Pacific people are travellers


We all have a part to play

  • “Ultimately it is the stories and experiences of the people of these countries, their tenacity and strength that will see them through the challenges they confront. Therefore it is the people of these nations who must be supported, encouraged and challenged in their work” (Sols and Vanuatu Group 5)

  • We all have a part to play in ensuring there is a supportive, encouraging and challenging work environment for people of the region.

We all have a part to play


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