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A vision for the Vanuatu we want

 

Building a stable, sustainable and prosperous nation

Our people and place are at the very heart of our development aspirations. Together we strive for a nation that is stable, sustainable and prosperous, so that all people have a just and equal opportunity to be well educated, healthy and wealthy. Just as we strive to progress in a way that protects and preserves our natural resources for our children, and theirs.

Vanuatu 2030 is our National Sustainable Development Plan for the period 2016 to 2030, and serves as the country? s highest level policy framework. It is founded on our culture, traditional knowledge and Christian principles, and builds on our development journey since Independence in 1980. We have already achieved a great deal, as we have encountered many difficulties and setbacks, some from natural disasters. Our most recent national plan, the Priorities and Action Agenda 2006-2015 sought to deliver a just, educated, healthy and wealthy Vanuatu. It was the first concerted attempt to link policy and planning to the limited resources of government. As we look ahead to the next 15 years, we now seek to further extend the linkages between resources, policy and planning to the people and place they exist to serve. In effect our development journey remains on the same course, but we are upgrading the vehicle to get us there in a more holistic and inclusive way.

Throughout the extensive public consultations that informed this plan, Ni-Vanuatu resoundingly called for a balance between the social, environmental and economic pillars of sustainable development, with our cultural heritage as the foundation of an inclusive society. In the consultations we discussed our biggest development challenges and their solutions. We did not come up with all the answers, but the national vision and policy framework described in these pages charts a pathway towards improved wellbeing and greater shared prosperity.

In setting our national vision for a stable, sustainable, and prosperous Vanuatu by 2030, people have asked for new ways of thinking about, and implementing, development strategies. This calls on our elected and community leaders to focus on stability in politics, policy and the economy so that development serves the wider population and national interest, and not just a select few. It requires safeguarding the remarkable natural assets we have been blessed to inherit, and which serve as the bedrock of our identity. With steady political guidance and deep respect for our environment we can positively transform our country, solve current problems, and come up with new ways of working to improve the lives and livelihoods of our people. The indivisible connections between culture and the social, environmental and economic pillars of development are reflected in our aspirations, and how we will deliver our national vision.

A vibrant cultural identity underpinning a peaceful, just and inclusive society

For Vanuatu, development is much more than just acquiring material wealth. The country was founded on Melanesian values of respect, harmony, unity and forgiveness. These values shape our cultural heritage, which is the country? s strength. They are expressed through our oral traditions, languages, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, traditional knowledge, and our deep connections with our ancestors, land and place, as well as the skills to be productive with our natural resources. Our development must be firmly anchored to these values that holds our society together.

Community, family and kinship ties serve as the primary social safety net, especially for the young, the elderly, people with disabilities and other vulnerable people. We must ensure no one is disenfranchised from these traditional safety nets, while also enabling the state to fulfil its core responsibility to protect and deliver essential services to its population. With limited resources available, the state will continue to foster ever stronger partnerships with civil society, churches, community based groups, NGOs, and the private sector to underpin traditional safety nets and support basic service delivery.

There can be no development without peace, just as peace is threatened in the absence of sustainable and equitable development. Vanuatu has an enviable record of building and maintaining a peaceful society with strong traditions of justice and respect for the rule of law. We live in an increasingly globalised context. More than ever we need to balance the interface between formal and traditional governance systems, and traditional peacebuilding and reconciliation practices and our judicial and security institutions. We also need to ensure everyone can live in peace and harmony at home and in their communities by ending all forms of violence against women and children.