"Call for Action: urbanization as a regional force
for sustainable development in the Pacific."

Earlier this week, the Fifth Pacific Urban Forum concluded in Nadi, Fiji, with a call for action on deployment of all efforts, means and resources available towards the implementation of the “New Urban Agenda for the Pacific”.

Co-hosted by the Government of Fiji and supported and co-organized by UN-Habitat and partners, the Forum was attended by more than 200 participants from 25 countries, including high level representation from 13 Pacific Islands countries attended the three-day meeting focused on “Accelerating the implementation of the New Urban Agenda to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the Pacific”.

On its inaugural day, Premila Kumar, Republic of Fiji Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Local Government and Housing and Community Development underlined the critical importance of enhancing urban management, in order to create better social, economic and environmental urban outcomes for the Pacific Islands countries. She was echoed by Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat who highlighted the need for a regional approach to urbanization: “If we act with foresight and get our responses to these challenges right, urbanization can become a powerful force for the sustainable development of our Pacific countries.”

The Forum was attended by local and national governments, regional organizations, NGOs, community-based organizations, traditional leaders, professionals, academia, private sector, development partners and financial institutions as well as media representatives. Official Representatives from Australia, Fiji, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu attended, including six ministers.

On the second day of the Forum, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama underlined sustainable urban development as a tool to tackle inequality and climate vulnerability: “The impact of our actions, the boldness of our decisions and the strength of our cooperation of this Forum and beyond, will determine whether those urban centres emerge as engines of sustainable development, or bastions of inequity and climate vulnerability.”

Three people in the plenary session
Premila Kumar, Fiji Minister of Industry, Trade, Tourism, Local Government; and Housing and Community Development (left); Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, and Atsushi Koresawa, (right) UN-Habitat Regional Director for Asia & Pacific, discuss urbanization challenges and opportunities at the Pacific Urban Forum, in Nadi, Fiji
[UN-Habitat & Government of Fiji]


An action plan was agreed upon committing to four pillars of the Forum: social equity; environment, resilience and urbanization; urban economy and urban governance. Participants across the event, recognized the importance of urbanization for sustainable development and agreed on long-term national planning for urbanization through national sustainable development plans, urban policies and sector plans to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the Pacific.

During the closing, the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sosana Sopoaga committed to support the successful political anchoring of the Pacific New Urban Agenda at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and at global including the Seventh Asia Pacific Forum and the tenth session of the World Urban Forum: “As incoming Chairman, I will be happy to place in the Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ discussions the outcomes of this Forum.”

Two partnerships were also established, strengthening collaboration and dialogue in the Pacific region:

  1. A plan to develop affordable housing for low and middle-income families in Port Moresby was signed between the Government of Papua New Guinea and the International Finance Cooperation. 
  2. The Eastern Regional Organisation for Planning and Human Settlements (EAROPH) International, EAROPH Australia, the Commonwealth Association of Planners and the New Zealand Planning Institute agreed on stronger collaboration to achieve sustainable urban development in the region.
A crowd of people from the forum watch a drone fly.
A drone takes flight during one of the site visits to demonstrate how drones can collect data.
[UN-Habitat & Government of Fiji]


Organizing partners:

The successful event was co-organised by the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, Monash University, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and Compass Housing Services.


For more information please see here:




#PUF5 on social media

Facebook: Pacific Urban Platform

Twitter: PUF2019

Instagram: pacific_urban_forum

Banner photo:

Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama

[UN-Habitat & Government of Fiji]