Leaders discuss regional issues

Thursday September 07, 2017 Written by Published in Politics
Prime Minister Henry Puna and his wife Akaiti arrive at the opening of the 48th Pacifi c Islands Forum Leaders Meeting on Monday. 17090633 Prime Minister Henry Puna and his wife Akaiti arrive at the opening of the 48th Pacifi c Islands Forum Leaders Meeting on Monday. 17090633

Issues including climate change and ocean conservation have been the major topics of discussion during the 48th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting which ends in Samoa today.

 

The annual meeting is attended by the Pacific island states leaders and officials.

Prime Minister Henry Puna and finance Minister Mark Brown are representing the Cook Islands at the meeting.

Issues on the agenda include maximising incomes from industries including tourism, fisheries and deep-sea mining, and governing how finances are spent.

Addressing climate change and dealing with disaster risks by ensuring development is sustainable and resilient have also been major points of discussions.

Delegates have also tackled subjects including rising sea levels, responding to shifts in global power, conflict and international relations, and the need for action on rising poverty and inequality, food security and the depletion of natural resources.

The ongoing conflict in West Papua, nuclear waste issues in the North Pacific, and freedom and fairness in regional political elections are also being discussed.

Chair of the meeting and prime minister of Samoa Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi in his opening speech on Tuesday deliberated on the theme “The Blue Pacific: Our Sea of Islands – Our Security through Sustainable Development, Management and Conservation”.

“For the Pacific region and its island countries, the ocean is crucial. Exercising a sense of common identity and purpose linked to the ocean, has been critical for protecting and promoting the potential of our shared Pacific Ocean,” he said.

“It is this commonality of the fundamental essence of the region which has the potential to empower the region through collective and combined agendas and actions. 

“The Blue Pacific will strengthen the existing policy frameworks that harness the ocean as a driver of a transformative socio-cultural, political and economic development of the Pacific. Furthermore, it gives renewed impetus to deepening Pacific regionalism."

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