Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Launches a New Website
The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat today launched its redesigned website, www.forumsec.org.  At a function held this morning at the Secretariat’s Fale in Suva, Fiji, Forum Secretary General, Greg Urwin, said this was a vital step towards improving communication with stakeholders.

“As you can appreciate, there are many stakeholders involved in the work undertaken by the Forum Secretariat and its diverse work programmes,” said Mr Urwin. “Key to the success of these programmes is the dissemination and disclosure of accurate information, in a timely manner.”

Mr Urwin noted effective communication cannot be achieved with a one-way flow of information, and this had been taken into consideration with the website’s new design.

“As we disseminate our on-line messages, users can provide feedback in various ways,” he said. “These will include public and private message boards on a variety of issues, as well as online registration for meetings and workshops.”

In quoting the Pacific Regional Digital Strategy from the Pacific Plan, Mr Urwin said Information Communications Technologies (ICTs) in the Pacific are the key to ending the tyranny of distance.

“Not all Pacific Island Countries enjoy the benefits of access to ICTs, such as the Internet. For many who do, they may be faced with slower speeds and higher costs of usage. The Digital Strategy seeks to address these sorts of shortfalls, and there are some exciting developments in regards to Internet connectivity that the Pacific can look forward to in the near future.”

The Forum’s Media Officer, Pacific Plan, and website administrator, Ms Mue Bentley, noted that in developing the new site, it was important to structure its pages and sections in line with the four priority pillars of the Pacific Plan – Economic Growth, Sustainable Development, Good Governance and Security.

“As mandated by Forum Leaders, the Pacific Plan is what currently directs our work programmes and shapes our outputs,” said Ms Bentley. “It is therefore important that our communications messages – such as website content and structure – are reflective of this.”

Ms Bentley noted that the website would be maintained regularly.

“Internet audiences want accurate, timely, easily-accessible and useful website content,” she remarked. “Maintaining our website will remain an essential work in progress.”

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Note to editors:
1. The Forum Secretariat’s website URL has changed from www.forumsec.org.fj to www.forumsec.org. Visitors to the old URL will be automatically redirected to the new website.
2. The website was developed by Oceanic Communications, in close collaboration with the Forum Secretariat’s Media and IT departments.
3. For more information, contact Mue Bentley, the Forum’s Media Officer Pacific Plan/Website Administrator (email) or Johnson Honimae, the Forum’s Media Officer (email)