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Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination

What is the Cairns Compact?

The Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific is an initiative which was agreed by Pacific Leaders at the 2009 Pacific Islands Forum.

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The Compact sets out actions to improve the coordination and use of development resources in the Pacific, in line with international best-practice as expressed in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and Accra Agenda for Action.

Why is the Cairns Compact needed?

The Cairns Compact is a response to Forum Leaders’ concerns that the Pacific region remains off-track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

The Compact aims to accelerate progress towards the achievement of the MDGs, by strengthening Forum Island countries’ leadership of their own development agenda, and encouraging development partners to work more effectively together.

Who is involved?

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat has primary responsibility for implementing the Cairns Compact. It is working with Forum member countries, development partners, regional organisations, and a range of other stakeholders to progress this work.

Australia is strongly supporting implementation of the Compact. Australia is working closely with the Forum Secretariat and New Zealand as the current Forum Chair, and has provided funding to the Forum Secretariat to support its work on the Compact.

Forum Leaders agreed to review progress on the Compact annually at the Pacific Islands Forum. At the 2011 Forum, held in Port Vila, Vanuatu, from 3–6 August, Leaders welcomed strong progress on the Compact, and reaffirmed their support for efforts to strengthen aid coordination and effectiveness in the region.

What are the key features of the Cairns Compact?

Key features of the Compact include:

These activities will help to promote best practice in development in the region, and to better direct all available resources—from national budgets and from partners—towards agreed national priorities.

How long will the Cairns Compact take to implement?

The benefits of better development coordination—more effective use of development resources, reduced administrative burden for countries, improved information to guide decision-making—will only be fully realised over time.

The Compact is a long term endeavour whose success depends on the sustained commitment and participation of Forum Island countries, development partners and other stakeholders.

Where can I find out more?

More information about the Cairns Compact is available from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.


Last reviewed: 1 November, 2013