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Friday 3 November 2023 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in 52nd Pacific Islands Forum 2023, National


Rarotonga finalises preparations for Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting
Prime Minister Mark Brown with the security team for the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting which starts on Monday next week. OPM/23110217

Rarotonga is putting the finishing touches on its preparations as leaders and officials begin to arrive from today for the week-long Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting starting on Monday.

Prime Minister Mark Brown, who is also the chair of the Forum, visited the security team yesterday and provided an update on the preparations. The Cook Islands Police have been joined by a team of 10 officers from the New Zealand Police to assist with the Forum’s security protocols.

“We have a big event coming up starting today and tomorrow with the arrival of delegations and leaders. It’s a big event for our country, so we are grateful for your support to boost our team in Rarotonga. It promises to be a very good week for both us, the Cook Islands, and our region, the Pacific. It’s all go from here,” Brown told the security team yesterday.

“I have been to see the team opening the ceremony at the National Auditorium. They are still in preparation mode, but they will be ready. I have also met with the cultural team that will be performing. They have been training and will also be ready.

“I am glad I came here to see the security team, and I have no doubt and full confidence that you will also be ready for this event. So all the best with your time here, and hopefully we will not have any events that will disrupt us.”

Security in-charge officer Taneao Ngamata said they have been running training scenarios with the local team and with the vehicles to ensure that they are ready for the week, which will start with leaders arriving ahead of the meeting.

Ngamata also thanked the New Zealand Police force for their support.

The Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting will be held from November 6 to 10.

The annual meeting will kick off with Pacific sub-regional meetings between the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Micronesian Presidential Summit, and Polynesia Leaders Group.

The official opening, which is open to the public, will take place on Monday night at the National Auditorium.

Day two is packed with more meetings, including a meeting between the Forum leaders and the Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific heads. On Wednesday, the leaders will depart for Aitutaki to participate in a retreat away from the prying eyes of the media. On the final day, leaders will meet with Forum Dialogue Partners, Forum Observers, civil society, and other guests.

  • Losirene Lacanivalu/RNZ