Supporting a ‘blue recovery’ in the Pacific: GAP Summit report

| August 16, 2021

I am thrilled to release the GAP Report of discussions from the Pacific and Small Island Nations Summit held in June.

With 16 countries represented and 120 delegates joining the discussion, there was never any doubt that we would develop robust actionable recommendations together.

With support from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), we have identified several projects to take forward beyond our Summit.

GAP will now form working groups to progress the OECD’s governance capability building proposal that was put forward on the day, the Pacific Sustainable Fisheries coordination program, and the project advocating the use of GAP’s Second Track process in developing action-oriented discussion.

Summit Communiqué

The Summit acknowledged the devastating impact of COVID-19 measures on the Pacific region and anticipated that a broad vaccine roll-out would allow the swift and safe resumption of international tourism and trade.

The Summit’s thought leaders emphasised the need for economic diversification and development throughout the region, and noted the potential of niche agriculture, digital services and other alternative revenue streams.

A successful ‘blue recovery’ in the Pacific will require policy coherence and cross-jurisdictional cooperation within domestic governments, productive partnerships with commercial companies and non-government organisations, and improved international financial mechanisms to encourage greater investment and support.

The Summit recognised the importance of a healthy Pacific environment to Pacific people and communities, and supported measures to improve environmental sustainability, maintain fish stocks, reduce plastic and oil pollution, and protect coastal mangroves.

The importance of strong and ethical leadership, transparency and robust civic institutions to regional resilience was highlighted by several participants, who urged international donors and financial bodies to pursue productive and respectful partnerships with regional nations and stakeholders.

The Summit advocated recovery packages which prioritise economic diversification, environmental protection, national resilience and social equality, and stressed that ambitious global commitments on climate change and Sustainable Development Goals must be turned into practical and inclusive regional outcomes.

Participants agreed that greater regional unity would amplify the voice of the Pacific in international forums, and called on global leaders to accelerate action on climate change, given its real and present danger to the very future of Small Island Nations.

Summit Projects

We look forward to a second Pacific Summit in 2022, but until then have much to work on in the wake of Summit 2021.


The Report and Communiqué of the GAP Summit for the Pacific and Small Island Nations is available here.