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Rudd announces Pacific Partnerships for Development with Solomon Islands and Kiribati

About Australia - Politics

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today signed Pacific Partnerships for Development with Prime Minister Sikua of Solomon Islands and President Tong of Kiribati.

This significant signing occurred at the Special Pacific Forum Leaders’ Meeting on Fiji in Port Moresby.

The Partnerships signed today are designed to make a real and practical difference to the lives of ordinary people in the Pacific.

Pacific Partnerships for Development are the centre piece of Australia’s new approach to the Pacific region which commits Australia and its Pacific partners to working together to meet common challenges

The Partnership with Solomon Islands will have an initial focus on:

 better service delivery, particularly in rural areas;
 more sustainable economic growth and reform;
 improved economic livelihoods;
 and improved economic infrastructure.

The Partnership will complement work to support peace and prosperity being
undertaken through the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Island (RAMSI).

The Partnership with Kiribati will have an initial focus on:

 improved basic education;
 workforce skills development;
 and improved growth and economic management.

The goal of the Partnerships is to advance the prosperity of the region and raise the standard of living of people living in the Pacific.

Most Pacific Island countries are not on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in areas such as health and education by 2015.

Up to a million children in the region do not attend school, and as many as 18,000 children die each year from preventable causes.

The Pacific Partnerships for Development aim to realise better development results by committing Australia to provide new and additional assistance.

They embrace important commitments from Solomon Islands and Kiribati to continue to improve governance, increase investment in economic infrastructure and to strive to achieve better outcomes in health and education and other areas.

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