SICCI CEO Dennis Meone during the private sector dialogue session with Pacific leaders during the Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Nauru.

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) this week joined other private sector organizations from around the region for the 2018 Pacific Islands Forum meeting.

SICCI is represented by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dennis Meone at the meeting in Nauru attended by leaders from 18 countries from across the Pacific including Australia and New Zealand.

A private sector dialogue session with forum leaders was held on Tuesday and among issues deliberated on were the effect of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and natural disasters including climate change and how the private sector could help combat these growing threats to the Pacific Island region and its peoples and mitigate their undesirable effects.

Representatives of Pacific Islands Forum members' private sector issued four statement to Forum Leaders during the Private Sector Dialogue Session with Pacific Islands Forum Leaders on Day 2 of the ongoing 49th Forum.

On natural disasters, there is an opportunity for the private sector to play a central role in building community resilience, and for their contributions to government led climate change and disaster related activities to be better utilised.

A paradigm shift in private sector engagement is required to a point where private sector is a core partner in all aspects of resilience building activities, and where their engagement is strategic and coordinated.

The Private Sector is also concerned about the impact on NCDs on employees, their families and our communities.

The Private Sector commend Government and regional organisations for the establishment of the Pacific NCDs Road Map, and encourage full implementation of the same.

Governments were urged to consider investing in a partnership approach with the Private Sector in the fight against NCDs.

Mr Meone underpins the importance of private sector taking part in such regional meeting to be in-tune with regional focus and explore avenues to work with Forum Governments to enhance the economic and social well-being of the people of the Pacific including the Solomon Islands.

"This year private sector from Forum countries focussed on disaster resilience and NCDs not only because of the growing threats, but also because it affects businesses and productivity, and there are huge implications on families and communities"

"These issues requires collective responsibility from Government, private sector and stakeholders to act, and as business leaders we have a responsibility to do so," says Meone.

SICCI was also given the opportunity to deliver the closing remarks at the dialogue with the Forum leaders.

"It was indeed an honour for the Solomon Islands private sector through SICCI to make the closing remarks, and as a Chamber we are grateful for the opportunity," says Meone.

The Pacific Islands Forum is a regional intergovernmental organisation, and is held every year between the leaders of 18 countries from across the Pacific.

The smallest member country is Niue, population 1,600, and the largest is Australia at more than 25 million people.

Established in 1971 to work in support of member governments, to enhance the economic and social wellbeing of the people of the South Pacific.

The PIF also attracts observers, such as the UN and World Bank, and dialogue partners, including China, India, the US and UK amongst others.

About the author

Philip Lilomo is the Chamber's Media & Communications Officer. Philip writes most of the Chamber's media releases. He also manages the website contents, designs the Chamber's monthly newsletter, brochures and maintains the organisation's visual branding. 

Philip can be contacted on email: media@solomonchamber.com.sb 

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