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32nd Annual Meeting (2013) Nuku’alofa, Tonga
Tonga hosted the 32nd Pacific Islands Law Officers Network (PILON) Annual Meeting from the 5 to  6 November in Nuku’alofa Tonga.The theme of the meeting was ‘Domesticating International Law: Challenges and Best Practices’.
PILON member countries represented at the meeting included Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu.
The following observer members also attended: the Commonwealth Secretariat; Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat; Pacific Legal Information Institute (PacLII); Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP); the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA); International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); University of the South Pacific (USP) and Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT).
Representatives from the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APGML), the South Pacific Lawyers’ Association (SPLA), the New Zealand Parliamentary Counsel Office, New Zealand Police Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme (PPDVP), Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police (PICP) Secretariat, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), Regional Office of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO) Secretariat observed the meeting.
Meeting Outcomes
Members attending the meeting agreed to formal outcomes and a work plan for the PILON Secretariat in 2014:
• 2013 PILON Annual Meeting Outcomes Report [PDF 932KB]
• 2014 PILON Secretariat Work Plan [PDF 460KB]
The PILON Secretariat also provided a report on its activities to those in attendance: PILON Secretariat Report 2013 [PDF 633KB]
Also find Attachment A: [PDF 311KB]
Members also considered, and resolved to approve, an application by the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG/ML) to become an observer member of PILON.

Country Reports

Find the Country Reports that were presented at the meeting here

Key issues
The Honourable Mr Samiu Kuita Vaipulu, Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure welcomed the delegates to Tonga and opened the meeting on behalf of the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga. The Minister in his opening address discussed the theme of the meeting, and its recognition that the Pacific region is no longer socially or economically isolated and can no longer allow important decisions in the international arena to be made only by other larger countries.
The Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (Strategic Partnership and Coordination Program), Mr Feleti Teo, provided the keynote address to PILON members. Mr Teo discussed the importance of international law in underpinning Pacific countries’ economic, development and security objectives, and provided an overview of the way that Pacific countries have contributed to the development of international treaties, particularly in the area of the law of the sea, fisheries management and disarmament. Mr Teo also highlighted the important role of Government lawyers in advising governments in relation to international treaties, from the initial negotiation of a treaty, to the decision of a government to become a party to a treaty (or not), to the implementation of a treaty.
Members considered presentations and discussed key issues relating to the theme of the meeting including:
• FATF Recommendations: Presentation by Ms Bronwyn Somerville, Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APGML);
• International Humanitarian Law: Presentation by Ms Monica Silverwood. Legal Adviser, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC);
• Climate Change and relocation in the Pacific: implications for international law: Presentation by Mr Kosimiki Latu, Deputy Director General, SPREP;
• United Nations human rights standards and mechanisms: Presentation by Mr Erik Friberg, Deputy Head, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Regional Office.
A summary of each presentation is contained in the Meeting Outcomes Report, above.
Presentations were also provided by PILON Observer Members and other regional organisations providing an update on relevant regional initiatives. These included the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), South Pacific Lawyers’ Association (SPLA), Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Secretariat, Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s Regional Rights Resources Team (SPC/RRRT), Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO), Commonwealth Secretariat, Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Program and the Pacific International Maritime Law Association (PIMLA).
Members also considered presentations providing updates regarding the Pacific Legislative Drafters’ Technical Forum and PILON Litigation Skills Programme.
Other meeting documents are available on the Country Reports page for the 32nd Annual Meeting.
 
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2012 PILON Annual Meeting - Kokopo, PNG

Papua New Guinea hosted the 31st Pacific Islands Law Officers’ Network (PILON) Annual Meeting from 29 to 31 October 2012 in Kokopo, PNG.  The theme of the meeting was ‘Challenges and Strategies to Enhance Democratic Governance and the Rule of Law’.

PILON member countries represented at the meeting included Australia, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

The following observer members also attended:  International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS); and the University of the South Pacific (USP).  Representatives from the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG/ML), the South Pacific Lawyers’ Association (SPLA), AusAID, the New Zealand Parliamentary Counsel Office, the Oceania Customs Organisation and the Australian High Commission (Port Moresby) also observed the meeting.

Meeting Outcomes

Members attending the meeting concluded a communiqué.  Members also agreed to formal outcomes and a work plan for the PILON Secretariat in 2013:

The PILON Secretariat also provided a report on its activities to those in attendance:  PILON Secretariat Report 2012 [PDF 573KB]

Members considered and endorsed a draft two year Strategic Plan for PILON, due to commence in 2013.  The draft Plan will be finalised before the end of 2012, and then made available with further details on this website.

Key issues

The meeting was opened by the Hon Kerenga Kua LLB OL MP, Minister for Justice & Attorney General of Papua New Guinea.  The official opening address provided by the Minister welcomed delegates to Kokopo on behalf of the PNG Government, and referred to key aspects of the theme of the meeting, including the importance of accountability for democratic governance, challenges posed by corruption in upholding the rule of law, and the essential role played by Government lawyers in upholding and strengthening the rule of law: Opening Address [PDF 239KB]

 Members considered presentations and discussed key issues relating to the theme of the meeting including:

    • • Democratic governance and the rule of law (presentation by Professor Paul Rishworth: [PDF])
    • • Current and emerging challenges to democratic governance and the rule of law (presentation by Professor John Nonggor)
    • Leadership and good governance (presentation by Mr John Toguata CBE: [PDF 303KB])

    • • Role of Government lawyers in enhancing democratic governance & the rule of law (presentation by Hon. Maurice Sheehan CMG:[PDF 650KB]
    • • Practical anti-corruption strategies to support the rule of law and good governance – covering:

      • -Anti-money laundering measures as an anti-corruption tool (Sisilia Eteuati (APG-ML));
      • -Anti-corruption measures – Tonga (Neil Adsett (Attorney General, Tonga)); and
      • -Experiences of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) mutual evaluation process (Molean Kilepak(PNG Department of Justice and Attorney General); and Roger Wilkins AO (Secretary, Australian Attorney-General’s Department))

A summary of each presentation is contained in the Meeting Outcomes Report, above.

Presentations were also provided by PILON Observer Members and other regional organisations providing an update on relevant regional initiatives.  These included the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, International Committee of the Red Cross, University of the South Pacific Law School, South Pacific Lawyers' Association; and Oceania Customs Organisation.

Members also considered presentations providing updates regarding the Pacific Prosecutors’ Association, Pacific Legislative Drafters’ Technical Forum and PILON Litigation Skills Programme.  Relevant resolutions by Members, in response to these updates, are contained in the Meeting outcomes report.

Other meeting documents are available on the Country Reports page (here) for the 31st Annual Meeting.

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