Pacific Islands Forum to open in Tuvalu

Tuvaluan children have greeted all Pacific Leaders arriving in Funafuti from a symbolic rising tide surrounding a model of their atoll home. Photo: Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat

The 50th Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) opening in Tuvalu later today will see Pacific Leaders gather to discuss issues vital to the future the Pacific region, and the planet as a whole.

“We meet not only for the people of Tuvalu, not only for our Blue Pacific family, we meet for the world,” said Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga, incoming Forum Chair, ahead of the opening.

“Our work this week is about the survival of all our Pacific people, the protection of our islands and our great Ocean. We must turn commitments into action and demonstrate leadership to navigate the climate emergency by working together,” said Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga.

The 50th meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum begins with an opening ceremony in Funafuti on Tuesday evening, when current Forum Chair, President Baron Waqa of Nauru, will hand the chair on to Tuvalu.

The 50th Pacific Islands Formal Plenary then takes place on Wednesday, alongside dialogue sessions with civil society, private sector and CROP agencies. The Leaders will then spend the day in retreat on Thursday. The release of the Communique of the 50th Pacific Islands Forum on Thursday evening, will mark the end of the official programme of meetings, and a closing ceremony will be hosted by the Government of Tuvalu at the end of the week.

On Friday, Leaders will meet with all Forum Dialogue Partners with a focus on greater global action on combatting climate change and protection our ocean, two intertwined issues that are vital for for the Forum’s theme of Securing Our Future in the Pacific.

“This meeting takes place at a pivotal moment in the history of our future in the Pacific. Our people look to their leaders to see their way through national priorities, geo-politics and agendas to come together as a strong collective.

“I wish our Leaders well for their discussions, and we thank the Prime Minister and all the people of Tuvalu for their open hearts and generous hosting of the Blue Pacific family this week,” said Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor.

Leaders, or their Representatives, from all 18 Pacific Islands Forum member countries are attending the meeting, alongside the Forum’s associate members, observers and dialogue partners.

(Source:  News update Pacific island Secretariat 13 August 2019)

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