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Tuesday 2 May 2023 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in 52nd Pacific Islands Forum 2023, National, Politics, Regional


Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting to be held in November
The official logo top right, features elements of the Cook Islands’ cultural heritage and natural environment, and represents the unity and diversity of the Pacific. MFAI/23050120

The date for the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting (PILFM) in the Cook Islands has been confirmed. The 52nd Forum Meeting, held in the Cook Islands for the first time since 2012, will take place between November 6 to 10.

The Forum is made up of 18 member nations, one associate member (Tokelau), five observer nations, and 21 dialogue partner nations. The Cook Islands is a founding member of the Forum.

Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown, who will chair the Forum Meeting, said the theme will be “Our Voices, Our Choices, Our Pacific Way: Partner, Promote, Prosper”.

The official logo for the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting features elements of the Cook Islands’ cultural heritage and natural environment, and represents the unity and diversity of the Pacific region.

“We have been planning and consulting extensively to ensure our theme serves to inspire and empower our leaders gathering and our hosting arrangements and facilities provide a conducive environment for the deliberations of our Pacific leaders and partners of the Pacific,” PM Brown said in a statement.

“Our theme represents the collective voice and aspirations of our Pacific people, highlighting the importance of promoting our unique Pacific Way, forging strong partnerships, and driving prosperity in our region.

“The creative work behind crafting the theme and designing our official logo has been a collaborative effort with input across our community. It is an expression of our shared vision for a resilient, sustainable, and prosperous Te Moana Nui a Kiva - Blue Pacific Continent.”

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI) secretary Tepaeru Herrmann said in the statement that the confirmed dates considered the international schedule of the Pacific Leaders’ commitments, flights to and from the Cook Islands, and accommodation availability.

Herrmann said the Government was “committed to ensuring a successful and meaningful Forum that will strengthen cooperation and address the pressing challenges facing our region”.

“Just as we did in 2012 when we last hosted the Forum Leaders Meeting, we hope to engage our people in as many aspects of the hosting as possible. MFAI will within the coming weeks reach out to various stakeholders to ensure inclusive participation by our communities and private sector, including on our Pa Enua, in our delivery of PIFLM52,” she said.

“We look forward to welcoming all Forum Leaders and delegates to our beautiful Cook Islands, where we look forward to working together to shape a brighter future for our Pacific people.”

The Edgewater Resort and Spa chief executive Andrew Whittaker said the PIFLM would be a “great opportunity to showcase the Cook Islands, and Rarotonga in particular”.

“It’s a chance for us to show that we do have the infrastructure for large events such as the Forum, and we can be considered an alternative to some of the bigger Pacific Island nations,” Whittaker said.

Whittaker said the timing of the event was also useful for the tourism industry, as it would be hosted during the “shoulder period”.

“It’s happening during a period where traditionally visitor numbers slow down a bit,” he said.

“It’s going to be great seeing all the officials and leaders come here, and show them exactly what the Cook Islands has to offer.”

Whittaker said it was too early to say how many bookings the Edgewater would get as a result of the event, but he expected it to be busy.

“We will be doing a lot of pre-planning and training to ensure everything goes perfectly for our guests,” he said.

Meanwhile to facilitate communication and coordination among participants, the Government, via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration as national coordinator for PIFLM52, have developed a dedicated website which will contain relevant information about the Forum, including key dates, contact information, news updates, and logistical details.

The website can also be found via MFAI’s website and will be updated as arrangements are finalised, with information becoming available to support delegates and broader Cook Islands community participation.

  • MFAI/Matthew Littlewood