Mr. Engel Raygadas, Chair of the Pacific Resilience Partnership Taskforce
Climate Change Resilience

Youth futures in a resilient Pacific.

That is the theme of the inaugural Pacific Resilience Meeting (PRM) which officially kicked off with a welcome reception yesterday evening in Suva at the University of the South Pacific (USP) Laucala Campus in Fiji.

The meeting is the very first under the Framework for Resilient Development and the Pacific Partnership.  It brings together over 300 people - community groups, leaders, government agencies, young people, and development partners to share experiences on how they are collaborating for the region’s resilient development. It also places emphasis on the youth and acknowledges their energy and contribution to strengthening and enhancing resilience building in the Pacific and emphasising action towards a resilient future for all.

The Chair of the Pacific Resilience Partnership Taskforce, Mr Engel Raygadas, cordially welcomed all participants of the PRM at the official opening ceremony, which was held at the Oceania Centre, USP Campus.

Mr Raygadas emphasised on the importance of intergenerational dialogue in striving towards a more resilient future, stating that, “our region has a very young population, with our youth having the highest stake in what the future of this region could and should look like.”

He also went on to acknowledge the government and people of Fiji and USP as the hosts of the PRM for the next three days.

Oceania Dance Threatre group perform at the Opening Ceremony
Oceania Dance Threatre group perform at the Opening Ceremony

“It is only appropriate that USP, as the region’s premier tertiary institute, shaping and inspiring our future leaders, plays host to this inaugural PRM,” he said.

Vice Chancellor of USP and President for the PRM, Professor Pal Ahluwalia, spoke on the linkages between the Vision and Mission of the University and the overall theme of the PRM, especially around youth and Pacific peoples as inspirational agents of sustainable developments.

“Embracing our youth and aspiring to a resilient future should serve as a reminder that whilst urgent action on the ground is critical to address and mitigate the impacts of climate change and disaster, it should be action that forges a sustainable future.”

Professor Ahluwalia reiterated on the importance of inclusivity, which is one of the core values promoted by the University and highlighted its focus on creating awareness and empowering Pacific youth.

The official opening also included a photo exhibition and the Oceania Centre for the Arts, as well as entertainment by the Oceania Dance Theatre and Pasifika Voices.

The PRM will be held from 1 – 3 May 2019 at the ICT Centre, USP Laucala Campus.

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