Lyon on forum sub-committee

Friday May 11, 2018 Written by Published in Economy
Stephen Lyon has been elected the private sector representative on the Pacific Islands Forum’s Specialist Sub-Committee on Regionalism (SSCR). PHOTO: SSCR. 18050918. Stephen Lyon has been elected the private sector representative on the Pacific Islands Forum’s Specialist Sub-Committee on Regionalism (SSCR). PHOTO: SSCR. 18050918.

Stephen Lyon has been elected the private sector representative on the Pacific Islands Forum's Specialist Sub-Committee on Regionalism (SSCR).

 

Lyon is the president of the Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce, and former president of the Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council.

He is also a member of the board of the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation, regularly contributing to discussions related to regional private sector matters.

In 1999, Lyon conducted field research in the Cook Islands on reef health as a part of his university education. He holds a post-graduate diploma in marine and environmental science and regularly conducts consulting and technical work in the fields of environmental conservation and management.

In a statement released earlier this month, the SSCR said forum discussions were focused around policy proposals submitted to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat during the recently concluded, region-wide public consultations.

The “Blue Pacific” identity guides the SSCR’s recommendations. That identity harnessed the region’s shared ocean identity, geography, and resources, said the release.

Forum leaders committed to the “Blue Pacific” identity as being the catalyst for Pacific regionalism in 2017.

Lyon says the Declaration on Regionalism was signed by regional leaders on One Foot Island in Aitutaki in 2012.

He says since then he has had an interest in “how their vision is proceeding”.

The SSCR’s main aims include actively promoting sustainable development combining economic, social, and cultural development in ways that improve livelihoods and well-being throughout the Pacific. Inclusive and equitable economic growth is another main priority, as are strengthened governance, legal, financial, and administrative systems.

Security that ensures stable and safe human, environmental, and political conditions for all is the final objective.

“Essentially the current activity of the sub-committee is to solicit proposals that have a regional focus, analyse them, and put forward for leader’s consideration, the few proposals that truly require the leader’s attention and will result in regional solutions” says Lyon.

The sub-committee meets twice a year to decide which recommendations should be presented to Pacific leaders. As the private sector representative, Lyon will be engaging with the Pacific business community through the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO). He will discuss what regionalism means for different businesses and how he can best present “key issues” for consideration.

“Effective representation will come about through listening to key concerns of the private sector at regional meetings and balancing those with other regional priorities” says Lyon.

Generating proposals that are “truly regional” in nature and confront issues that are not being addressed is the biggest challenge facing the SSCR, he adds.

Lyon joins fellow Cook Islander Theresa Manarangi on the SSCR.

Manarangi is the representative for Smaller Island States. Other members new to the SSCR are the representative for Micronesia Gerson Alik Jackson, the representative for Polynesia, Esther Lameko-Poutoaand the representative for Civil Society, Siotame Drew Havea.

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