The Pacific Islands Universities Research Network (PIURN) was founded and launched in July 2013 after eleven universities in the Pacific region agreed to set up a regional network to facilitate and encourage academic research in the region. The eleven founding universities (three from Fiji, five from Papua New Guinea (PNG), two from the French territories – University of New Caledonia UNC) and University of French Polynesia (UPF), and the National University of Samoa (NUS).
These institutions agreed to work together to “… strengthen their strategic scholarly collaboration and institutional cooperation to better contribute to the development of the region, promote the well-being of local peoples and create a real regional platform to support public policies beyond language differences, through research, education and exchange.”
The PIURN executive is currently considering applications from other universities situated outside the Pacific to be associate members of the network.
The conference will comprise three colloquiums on the following themes:
The evolving principles and practices in customary land tenure systems in the Pacific in the context of development pressures and climate change.
Pacific Regional Cooperation in the 21st century.
Pacific Indigenous Art form and Languages in the 21st century – the challenges of sustainability.
These are some of the current issues which continue to dominate the development debates among the governments and citizens of the Pacific region. They also impact on how development partners in the Pacific decide to prioritise the various forms of assistance they are offering the Pacific countries.