“The minister is attending the 8th Minister of Youth World Forum to be held in Busan, South Korea, at the invitation of their government,” said a statement from Terry Rangi, newly-appointed chief executive for Maggie’s office.
“The invitation was provided through the office of Culture head of ministry Anthony Turua for the minister to attend.
“His costs are donor-funded.”
Asked if there was any reason why Maggie’s fellow cabinet minister Albert Nicholas hadn’t been sent to the forum in his capacity as minister of youth, Rangi would only say, “Minister Nicholas was not able to attend.”
According to Rangi, Maggie, who was sworn in as a minister in the CIP government just over a week ago, travelled to South Korea without any Cook Islands representatives or support staff accompanying him and is due to return, “sometime just after the youth forum concludes”. The forum is taking place from July 15-22.
The Minister of Youth World Forum is supported by the International Youth Fellowship and the purpose of the forum is to focus on and address issues affecting youth at a global level, said Rangi.
“The forum will have a main meeting area as well as side meetings and presentations,” he added.
Last year’s Minister of Youth World Forum was also held in Busan, South Korea. In the past the forum has been attended by representatives of such countries as Brazil, Botswana, Cambodia, Fiji, India, Israel, Kenya, Kiribati, Mozambique, Namibia, Uganda and Zambia.