During its first dialogue session, as part of the 51st Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting, this week the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Dialogue with the Associate Members and Forum Observers
The dialogue which was chaired by the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Chair and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, set the scene for subsequent dialogues and meetings for the week.
The opening remarks delivered by the PIF Chair and Prime Minister Bainimarama, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Mr Henry Puna, and a message from the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.
The dialogue provided an opportunity for PIF Leaders, Associate Members, and Forum Observers to consider the global context in which the Pacific operates and its implications on the Pacific region and regional priorities.
In his remarks, Prime Minister Bainimarama said the 51st Forum is an opportunity for the region to strengthen solidarity.
“It is an opportunity for us to declare – that as a united family, we will come together, we will seize our shared opportunities, we will leverage our shared strengths and resources, and we will combat our challenges together. It is an opportunity for us to declare – that business as usual can no longer be our way.
“It is an opportunity for us to declare – to our youth that we will fight for their survival, their security, and their prosperity.
“It is an opportunity for us to declare – to the world around us, that we are the Blue Pacific Continent, we are the owners and the custodians of these lands and this ocean, and we will work together to secure, protect and leverage our resources for ourselves and our generations to come.”
The PIF Chair emphasised the importance of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.
“I am confident the 2050 Strategy will serve as our “North Star” for the decades to come, providing us with a long-term vision, and a sense of our shared trajectory in the key themes and strategic pathways that it sets out.”
“The success of the 2050 Strategy begins and ends with us, Leaders. If our ancestors were the architects of Pacific regionalism, we are its custodians. It is the quality of our dialogue, debate and the direction that we offer that will determine the success of the Strategy, and the direction of Pacific regionalism more broadly,” the Prime Minister said.
There were also discussions on the strategies to mitigate the risks of the post-pandemic global recovery and innovative approaches to addressing those risks consistently and cohesively.
It also enabled PIF Leaders, Associate Members, and Forum Observers to discuss the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific, while reflecting on the journey of Pacific regionalism and the Pacific Islands Forum over the last 50 years and the way forward for the Pacific Family for the next 50 years.
The dialogue called for multilateralism as the key to promoting resilience, inclusive, and sustainable socio-economic recovery within the Blue Pacific.