Pacific Games to become Continental Games says PGC President

Sports Ministers attending the 5th Pacific Sports Ministers Meeting in Port Vila, Vanuatu have agreed to support the Pacific Games Council (PGC) in its quest to make the Pacific Games the Continental Games of the region.

This was one of the 12 recommendations approved by the Sports Ministers at the Ramada Hotel.

PGC President Vidya Lakhan says the vision is to eventually get Australia and New Zealand become full members of the Council.

Ministers and Sports Administrators reached the following conclusions:

1.- Ministers acknowledged with thanks and deep appreciation the role of the host country of Vanuatu and the Organising Committee VAN2017 for all of their work and preparation for the staging of the 10th Pacific Mini Games.

Ministers paid special tribute to the Government of Vanuatu for their financial and technical support for the delivery of the 2017 Pacific Mini Games, and for their active support for sport in the region.

3.- Ministers agreed to support the Pacific Games Council’s endeavours to ensure the Pacific Games is recognised internationally as the premier multi-sports event in Oceania, with the goal of all Oceania nations and territories competing as members, allowing Pacific Games competitions to more easily qualify the region’s best athletes for the Olympic and Commonwealth Games and World Championships.

4.- Ministers agreed to continue their valuable partnerships and support for their national sporting organisations, whilst respecting their self governing status and autonomous operations.

5.- Ministers agreed to continue efforts, through legislation where necessary, to combat criminal conduct including corruption within sporting organisations, as well as efforts to combat doping and other behaviours which damage the integrity and reputation of sport.

6.- To strengthen sport policy and measurement in Pacific Island Countries and Territories, Ministers agreed to:

6.1- Accept the Kazan Action Plan (attached in Annex 3) adopted at the Sixth International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport in July 2017 as a comprehensive sport policy follow up framework and a global call for action.

6.2- Endorse the Kazan Action Plan as a viable framework to develop national and regional sport policy development to maximize the contribution of sport to the Pacific Roadmap for Sustainable Development.

6.3- Endorse the development of a regionally coordinated sport policy framework and promote best practice.

6.4- Host an interactive multi-stakeholder roundtable dialogue ahead of the Sports Ministers Meetings in conjunction with the Pacific Games and Pacific Mini-Games, including a dedicated consultation for civil society.

6.5- Request the host government to provide leadership and full secretariat support for the Sports Ministers Meetings held during the Pacific Games, with technical support provided by the Pacific Games Council.

6.6- Mandate the Pacific SDGs Taskforce to expand regional efforts for the data collection and statistical analysis to include physical education, physical activity and sport to inform evidence based policy making and programming.

6.7- In order to give effect to recommendation 6.6, task the Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs from Palau and the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture from Samoa to act on behalf of the Pacific Sports Ministers to ensure that a progress report from the 5th Pacific Islands Sports Ministers Meeting is presented to the 2018 Forum Economic Ministers Meeting in Palau, and to Pacific Education Ministers at their next biannual meeting.

7.- Ministers welcomed the offer from the Minister of Youth & Sport from the Government of Fiji, the Hon Laisenia Tuitubou, to host the 6th Pacific Islands Sports Ministers Meeting on the eve of Ministers travelling to Gold Coast, Australia for the April 2018 Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Sports Ministers meeting. This offer was endorsed by the Pacific Games Council, which offered to support the Fiji Government in the meeting’s coordination.

8.- Ministers congratulated the work of Oceania Regional Anti-Doping Organization (ORADO) for its testing programs to be undertaken at 2017 Pacific Mini Games in conjunction with the Government of Vanuatu and agreed to:

8.1- Endorse the implementation of the International Convention Against Doping in Sport.

8.2- Support the adoption of the World Anti-Doping Code by National Sports Organisations in respective countries.

8.3- Acknowledge the efforts of ORADO in advocating, promoting and coordinating the fight against doping in sport in the Oceania region.

Ministers noted with approval the substantial legacies for sport achieved by the Government of Papua New Guinea from their hosting of the outstanding 2015 Pacific Games, including its landmark high performance program.

Ministers agreed to convey the outcomes of the Sports Ministers’ Meeting to their respective Heads of Government to ensure that these outcomes can be included on the regional public policy agenda of the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders. It was further agreed to forward this communiqué to Forum Leaders through the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

Ministers agreed to re-convene in Fiji ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

ONOC

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