More Top Stories

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

PM to attend meetings in Thailand, Japan and PNG

Monday 15 May 2023 | Written by Matthew Littlewood | Published in Economy, National


PM to attend meetings in Thailand, Japan and PNG
Prime Minister Mark Brown. Picture: AL WILLIAMS/23031009

Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown departed Rarotonga on Friday en-route to three international meetings.

PM Brown as Pacific Islands Forum Chair, has accepted an invitation from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) to attend the 79th Session of the Commission, to be held in Bangkok, Thailand from 15 – 19 May 2023.

The UNESCAP forum provides opportunities to elevate the profile of the Cook Islands, progress efforts towards full UNESCAP membership, and champion PIFS priorities in his capacity as chair. With a membership of 62 Governments, 58 of which are in the region, ESCAP is the largest regional commission both in a geographical scope and in terms of membership. It is the most active regional platform for national and regional cooperation and negotiation and PM Brown as Forum Chair will spearhead our national and regional positions on climate action and secure the maximum financial and technical support possible.

The Prime Minister has been invited to lead the in-person Statements during the Leaders’ segment, on climate action. He will be followed by Pacific leaders from Palau, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Tuvalu, Philippines, and Bangladesh.  The Prime Minister will also take a leading role in the margins of the official session, including as a speaker in the side event entitled ‘Pacific Perspectives 2023: Accelerating Climate Action’. There will also be several bilateral meetings, including between the Cook Islands delegation and the UNESCAP Executive Secretary, and with the Government of Thailand.

There is to be a special side event on Strengthening sub regional cooperation, during which time a MoU will be signed between the PIFS Secretary General and the ESCAP Executive Secretary.

From Thailand the Prime Minister will travel to Japan to attend the G7 meeting being held in Hiroshima. Again, in his capacity as both Prime Minister and Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, Brown accepted an invitation from the current President of the G7, Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, to attend the 49th G7 Summit to be held in Hiroshima, Japan from 20 – 21 May 2023. 

The G7 is an intergovernmental political forum comprised of the world’s largest developed economies including France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the European Union. G7 Leaders meet annually at the G7 Summit held in a rotational presidency’s nation, Japan as President this year has chosen to host the Summit in Hiroshima, Japan.

Earlier this year Japan assumed the G7 Presidency and has organised Outreach Sessions that will be held within the margins of the Summit. Leaders from non-G7 nations have been invited to attend as Outreach Partners, these Leaders are from Australia, Brazil, Comoros, Cook Islands, Indonesia, India, Republic of Korea, and Vietnam. Japan has also invited Heads of 7 International Organisations as Outreach Partners these include International Energy Agency (IEA), International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Bank, World Health Organization (WHO), and World Trade Organization (WTO).

Brown has been invited to speak at two Outreach sessions: (1) Working Together to Address Multiple Crises: Toward a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous World (including Food, Health, Development and Gender), and (2) Common Endeavour for a Sustainable Planet (including Climate, Energy and Environment).

There will be opportunities for PM Brown to engage in bilateral meetings with G7 Leaders, Outreach Partners, and Heads of International Organisations, MFAI have assisted in disseminating letters from the Prime Minister to these Leaders seeking bilateral meetings.

Brown will also endorse the proposed Hiroshima Action Plan for Resilient Global Food Security.

On his way home PM Brown will head to Papua New Guinea to attend the India - Pacific Islands Summit hosted by the India Prime Minister Modi and PNG Prime Minister Marape. At that occasion the United States President Joe Biden will also fly in to meet the PIF Leaders including Prime Minister Brown.

Brown welcomes the increased engagement by the larger countries in the Pacific as an opportunity to discuss and articulate Pacific challenges and opportunities at leader level.

He will arrive back in the Cook Islands in time to present the Budget in Parliament on May 24.