Tuesday 12 Oct 2021 | 23:02 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 12 Oct 2021 | 23:02 | SYDNEY

Your questions for Pacific leaders


Danielle Cave


1 September 2011 17:53

Got a question for New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully? Or Shamima Ali from the Women's Crisis Centre, Fiji? Andrew Abel (Surfing Association of Papua New Guinea)? Ann Sherry (Carnival Australia)? Hiran Cooray (Pacific Asia Travel Association)? Vanessa Slowey (Digicel Pacific)? The Prime Minister of Samoa?

This could be your moment.

The Lowy Institute's Myer Foundation Melanesia program is hosting an international conference, 'Pacific Islands and the World: Realising the Pacific's Potential', in Auckland on 4-5 September, with the cooperation of New Zealand’s Motu Institute. The conference is a curtain-raiser to the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Summit in Auckland and will bring together the private sector, civil society, media and Pacific political leaders to discuss Pacific policy, something that has to be debated, discussed and endorsed by whole communities. We hope participants will share their views, put forward new ideas for our region and challenge the status quo.

The conference will focus on the Pacific's potential and the contribution the region's resources can make to economic and human development. It will look at how to convert returns from the region's natural resources — including minerals, fisheries and forestry — into better living standards. Speakers will explore how innovation can extend the promise of the tourism industry and how the peoples of the Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand can further realise their potential through good leadership, access to migration, use of new technologies, the rise of social media and increased regional and international integration.

We have set up a conference page on Facebook, accessible through our Lowy Facebook page, where we will dump all conference material, including audio recordings (following the conference), speeches, any video we can get our hands on, newspaper articles and posts by Pacific bloggers.

Any member of our team who fails to appear busy at all times will find themselves on automatic Twitter duty. The Lowy Institute Twitter account continues to grow and is a hotbed of intense discussion and debate on Australia's place in the world. We will be tweeting from Auckland using the hashtag #PIF and will be encouraging twitterers to put forward questions for the speakers – it will be our first attempt at crowd-sourcing Pacific policy ideas.

Our crowd-sourcing attempts will not end there. Sam, the Lowy’s prolific blog editor, will be in Auckland with us and will be hunting down conference speakers for short interviews. If you have a question, send it through to blogeditor@lowyinstitute.org .

For further info please see the Lowy event page, where you can download the full conference agenda and speaker biographies. We hope you join us in Auckland, whether it be via this blog, Facebook or Twitter.

Photo by Flickr user 23am.com.