NEW YORK: Pacific leaders came together today on the side-lines of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly, to sign a declaration for the establishment of a Pacific Regional Data Repository (PRDR) with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban ki-Moon.

After reaffirming their support at the Pacific Leaders Forum Meeting earlier this month, Pacific leaders appreciated the effort to establish the PRDR, and declared their support for the “initiative by Tonga to establish a Pacific Regional Data Repository for Sustainable Energy for All, (SEforALL)”.

At the Signing Ceremony, Tonga’s Prime Minister, Lord Tu’ivakano presented this Declaration to the UN Secretary General on behalf of the Pacific Islands Leaders. The Prime Minister expressed that, “I am extremely pleased that your SEforALL intuitive has allowed us to start this process, today, showing political commitment from us Leaders in the Pacific to commence the work and design, including implementation in order for the Data Repository to be launched at the United Nations SIDS Conference to be held in Apia 2014.”

"It is only fitting that we sign this agreement today here at the United Nations, and with the UN Secretary General, whose initiative, after all crystallized our collective will and intent, to establish this critical facility for better planning and decision making in the energy sector in our region", the Prime Minister added.

With this agreement, the Pacific hopes to make a contribution towards achieving the goals of the SEforALL challenge and puts itself in a stronger position to actively participate in the formulation of the energy and climate change dialogue in the context of the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

In accepting the Declaration from the Pacific Leaders, the Secretary General said that, “This declaration is a powerful message to the world that the Pacific region is stepping up to the challenge. This is a testament of their leadership - Sustainable energy is central to our collective efforts,"

The PRDR is seen as a key component of the infrastructure and architecture of the Pacific region’s response to the UN General Secretary’s challenge of providing sustainable energy for all in the next decade. The PRDR will help energy planners and policy makers make more evidence-based decisions and assist in formulating more appropriate models of progress and sustainable development for the region. Its anticipated success will serve as model that contributes to this UN initiative, and provide the global energy reformation much needed.

This PRDR will be hosted in the Pacific with the assistance of the UN-ESCAP and other development partners.