In the past few years, the world has been observing a shifting of power from a West in crisis to a rising East, with numerous consequences for the Pacific, particularly in terms of economic growth, trade and investment volumes, and its degree of integration in the world economy. This context offers the Pacific leaders a new space for choice and shelter from pressure for uniformity and compliance, and thus greater opportunities to build the ‘future they want’. For this purpose, Asia Pacific Forum participants touched upon a wide range of issues, from climate vulnerability to social cohesion, from sustainable economic growth to strong and stable political institutions, and from international aid to regional cooperation.
Among the main conclusions, the importance of culture in bringing about a sustainable future with dignity in the Pacific was raised, along with a strong and appropriate response to the challenge of climate change; better partnerships and exercises of lessons sharing within the region and with other regions; the need to give Pacific communities confidence to engage for and own their future; and most importantly the need for vision and leadership.
The Club de Madrid wishes to thank all the participants for their contribution to the success of this Asia Pacific Forum. More particularly we would like to thank the team of the Presidency of French Polynesia for hosting this gathering and showing us the richness of the French Polynesian culture and the kindness of its people. We would also like to thank Iosefa Maiava and the Pacific Office of UN ESCAP who have helped us in making this Forum as relevant and as ‘Pacific’ as possible. Finally, we would like to thank Prof. Clive Palmer for his continuous support to the Club de Madrid, and in this case, for generously sponsoring this gathering.