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15 Pacific Island Governments Commits on Early Childhood Development to ensure No Child is Left Behind

At the final day of discussions on Early Childhood Development (ECD) at the three days ECD Forum in Nadi, Fiji, 15 Pacific Island Government representatives finally declared their commitments to speed up the implementation of the Pacifica Call to Action on ECD to ensure No Child is Left Behind.

The leaders have proven their commitments during the forum by engaging in discussions on creating a resilient blue Pacific for all children, finding solutions to address issues affecting children on climate change, health issues affecting children and determine strategic priorities for ECD from 2023 to 2025.

Leaders who attended the ECD forum | Photo: Pacific Regional Council for Early Childhood Development

Following these discussions, the leaders recall the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ call that securing the future of the Pacific cannot be left to chance; and support their 2050 vision, as stated in the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent for a resilient Pacific Region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and prosperity that ensures all Pacific peoples can lead free, healthy and productive lives.

The leaders endorsed the Action point number 10 0n ECD and Resilience which aims to increase the resilience and adaptive capacity of communities to the effects of climate change and other emergencies.

Other commitments declared is to ensure ECD policies and coordination mechanisms are in place in most countries and that financial mechanisms are in place to implement ECD programs and services.

The leaders also recognized the primary role of parents and communities in providing nurturing environments for children.

They also committed to supporting the Pacific Regional Council for ECD as the regional body for leadership and strategic direction on ECD.

Speaking during the closing ceremony, President of the Republic of Fiji His Excellency Wiliame Katonivere acknowledged the important agreements and resolutions made by the 15 Pacific Government Heads and representatives during the forum.

“Children across the region have shared what they love about their Pacific Island homes and the onus is on us their leaders, to value their sentiments and wield power gracefully to ensure that they continue to be nurtured, grow and experience their respective homes without fear.”

President of the Republic of Fiji His Excellency Wiliame Katonivere | Photo: Fiji Government

“Our young children are vital to climate change mitigation and adaptation as they are the future. To develop children and parents’ capacities to be agents of change are to increase the adaptive capacity of children and their communities.”

The President concluded by urging the leaders to collaborate, support, and hold each other accountable to the agreements they have made at the forum.

The three days Pacific ECD forum was held from the 22 to 24 February with the theme ‘Building a Resilient Blue Pacific Through Early Childhood Development’.

By Fredrick Kusu

Nadi, Fiji