Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Pacific partnerships for urban development

15 September 2021



CLGF Pacific joined seven Pacific development partners and eight country delegations at the end of August for the 2021 Virtual Pacific Urban Forum (VPUF). 


The event was organised by the Pacific Partnership for the New Urban Agenda, of which CLGF is the Secretariat, and was heavily involved in the background work and the programming. CLGF Pacific was also one of the main organisers of the Pacific Urban Forum in 2019.


Building on the progress of the Fifth Pacific Urban Forum (PUF5) held in 2019, the 2021 VPUF aimed to: 


  • assess the status of national urban development commitments across the Pacific region; 
  • share updates on key urban priorities, progress and challenges by country representatives; and 
  • formally launch the Pacific Partnership for the New Urban Agenda (PP-NUA).

Four sessions

The forum had four main sessions: firstly, a Pacific regional urban development overview; individual country updates and presentations; the launch of the Pacific Partnership for the New Urban Agenda; and finally, an interactive discussion session and panel. The event attracted over 100 participants, including 20 speakers from across the region.


In the last two years since PUF5, the dual challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the accelerating impacts of climate change have imposed increasing pressure on Pacific towns and cities. The economic impact of reduced remittances, international tourism and import/exports are pronounced across the region, risking greater inequality and impeding progress towards urban-related SDGs. A long-term and sustainable vision of urban development in the Pacific region is of vital importance.

Country updates

Country delegations provided updates across five interconnected working areas: social equity and urbanisation, environmental resilience and infrastructure, urban governance, urban economy, and COVID-19 impacts and recovery. Urban development ministries and local government stakeholders from the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, the Cook Islands, the Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Kiribati, and the Federated States of Micronesia each presented updates. This included a wide range of case studies, from new investments in climate resilient infrastructure projects across the Cook and Solomon Islands, to slum upgrading programmes in Fiji, to the development of new policies and institutions to manage urban development in Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.

Launch of Pacific Partnership

The formal launch of the Pacific Partnership for the New Urban Agenda brought together eight regional organisations to accelerate action on sustainable urban development. CLGF is joined by UN-Habitat, UN ESCAP, Compass Housing Services, EAROPH, ICLEI Oceania, University of Melbourne and Monash University. The partnership will provide resources to support national urban stakeholders to achieve their New Urban Agenda commitments. Partners will leverage their respective work programmes and support the integrated delivery of actions across the five working pillars.


Attended by CLGF's Regional Technical Advisor, Mr Terry Parker, who read the speech on behalf of the Prime Minister of Tuvalu; and CLGF's Pacific Regional Manager, Ms Karibati Taoaba, who was one of the main speakers.


The Pacific New Urban Agenda is an important tool to guide socio-economic development in cities and presents a strong framework to achieve progress. Ensuring sustainable governance, cooperation and partnerships is important to accelerate knowledge sharing and action in the Pacific."


All materials from the event are now available on our Solevaka Community of Practice. This includes an executive summary report, slide decks for all presentations, and a video recording of the event. 


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