Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown with President of French Polynesia - Moetai Brotherson. LOSIRENE LACANIVALU / 23116062
Prime Minister Mark Brown highlighted the challenges faced by the Cook Islands in applying for funding or accessing funding through borrowing due to the country’s high-income status.
who is chairing the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in Rarotonga this
week, also chaired the Smaller Island States (SIS) meeting on Monday.
said the issue of accessing funds by some of the countries with the high-income
status was discussed at the SIS meeting.
explained that this was a concern raised by some leaders.
countries like the Cook Islands, which have graduated status, accessing certain
forms of concessional financing is no longer available to us,” he stated.
of the key takeaways from the Smaller Island States meeting was the recognition
of the difficulties associated with accessing financing through mechanisms like
the Samoa Agreement or through borrowing. These are challenges that we have
made our voices known on, and we will wait and see how they will be addressed.”
Brown confirmed at a press conference yesterday that the leaders have selected
five senior ministers from the Pacific to represent the region as climate
champions at the COP28 meeting in Dubai.
will be important to us in terms of advocating for climate change action at the
COP meeting,” he emphasised.
acknowledged the support of Australia for supporting the Pacific climate
champions’ attendance at COP28, along with the provision of staff to assist the
leaders at the crucial event.
asked about the Polynesian bloc’s call to pause the release of Fukushima
treated wastewater, Brown responded that “Fukushima will be on the agenda for
discussion at either the plenary meeting or retreat.”
Polynesian bloc’s decision was made at the Polynesian Leaders Group meeting –
attended by Brown – on Monday.
of French Polynesia Moetai Brotherson, who chaired the meeting, stated that
they had a shared position against the release of the wastewater into the
“We would have rather had the discussions taking place
here at the Forum before Japan took its decision, but this was not the case
unfortunately,” he told Cook Islands News on Monday.
“We are going to speak as a group during the Forum on
this issue and say that we would prefer these waters not to be released in the