Emerging Pacific Leaders' Dialogue 2006
Message from HRH The Princess Royal
It is an honour and a pleasure to be attending the first Emerging Pacific Leaders' Dialogue 2006, an exciting and innovative regional initiative of the The Duke of Edinburgh's Commonwealth Study Conference organising bodies in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Commonwealth Study Conference movement and I know that the original objectives are as relevant today as they ever were. The Conferences are an experience that leave participants with many of their assumptions challenged and their world view expanded, as they meet, work and talk with people from different backgrounds, different cultures and with different perceptions.
I congratulate the organisers of the EPLD for utilising the long-established CSC vision and its practical format to strengthen future leadership capacity in the Pacific region. It demonstrates that the CSC continues to be a vital and responsive institution that has much to offer in an increasingly complex global environment.
I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible during the EPLD and invite you to embrace the experience ahead.
Message from Rt Hon Don McKinnon, Commonwealth Secretary General
From London: greetings to all of you at the start of the Emerging Pacific Leaders' Dialogue in Brisbane today.
My congratulations to those far-sighted few who decided that this event should be born as an offshoot of our Commonwealth Study Conferences, and who have done so much to make that happen ...
... my thanks to all those throughout the Pacific Region who have given the idea their moral and practical support...
.... and above all my warmest good wishes to you 120 or so young men and women from 19 countries in the region, who have been selected on merit to be part of this great enterprise - you people for whom this represents such a wonderful opportunity to learn, share and grow; and to whom we will be looking, in years to come, for strong and principled leadership.
I am delighted that an idea and programme that is half a century old is as fresh today as ever, and that it has now taken on new form in the Pacific Region.
The Commonwealth is a family and a network that shares: its values, its language, its institutions - and its best practice. You can only lead if you know the people that you're leading and the challenges that they are facing: and there's no better way of coming to know this than by seeing with your own eyes and sharing best practice on study tours. You will see for yourselves the way that different people in different cultures react to the challenges of good governance, education, health, environment and enterprise that are the cornerstones of all our societies. I hope the tours will be by turns instructive, humbling, and inspiring. I know they will be fun.
Democratic societies are based first and foremost not on leaders but on individual human beings and their values. From values come votes and democratic institutions - and from institutions comes the hard work that makes systems function. But democratic societies need leaders, too: gifted men and women helping others share and enact a vision for the way things should be.
In the past, Commonwealth leaders led struggles for independence, struggles against racism, struggles to get their societies on their feet. They continue to struggle to establish real democracy and real development both at home and in the family of nations. Be part of that struggle; see leadership for what it is - positive service.
Good luck and very best wishes ..... from Commonwealth Secretary General, Don McKinnon
Message from the EPLD Conference Chairman
I am delighted to Chair the opening plenary of the first Emerging Pacific Leaders' Dialogue in Brisbane, Australia. Congratulations to all who have been selected to take part in this significant event. And my warm thanks to all who have borne the heavy burden of organising it.
These are uncertain times in the Pacific and the task ahead for decision-makers is one of utmost difficulty and responsibility. As future leaders, you will, I hope, always be conscious of the need to work for peace, stability and democracy at national, regional and international levels. You will be called upon to respond to the critical environmental challenges of the 21st century, whilst promoting sustainable economic development that strengthens the wellbeing of people and institutions. At the same time we must all strive to ensure that increasing interdependence across borders and seas should not be at the expense of the values that bind and sustain our communities.
I hope that you will make the most of this unique opportunity for intensive learning and relationship-building and use it to develop a clear and ethical vision for your future careers.
I extend a warm welcome to everyone taking part in the Emerging Pacific Leaders' Dialogue 2006 and trust that it will be a rich and rewarding experience for us all.
Sir William Deane, AC, KBE
Message from the CSC
On behalf of the Commonwealth Study Conferences (Australia) Inc and the Commonwealth Study Conferences (New Zealand) Trust, we extend a warm welcome to everyone taking part in the Emerging Pacific Leaders' Dialogue 2006.
The first Commonwealth Study Conference took place in Oxford fifty years ago and conferences have been held regularly since that time. Those of us who have participated in previous conferences know how valuable they are for developing practical leadership skills and friendship networks in the international community.
This is the first regional study conference in the Pacific. It is an important and timely initiative that has attracted strong, non-partisan support throughout the region.
Bringing together 130 individuals from diverse nations, cultures and sectors for intensive exchange and collaboration can only strengthen relationships and leadership capacity in the Pacific. We are very proud of the partnership between our organisations that has enabled us to offer this unique opportunity to future leaders in our own part of the globe.
We would like to acknowledge and personally thank all EPLD sponsors, supporters and organisers. Your generous contributions, whether financial or in-kind, have made the EPLD possible.
Richard F.E Warburton, AO
Chairman, Commonwealth Study Conferences (Australia) Inc
Chairman, Commonwealth Study Conferences (New Zealand) Trust