Rarotonga, Cook Islands, November 6, 2023 – The 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting commenced in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, on November 6th, 2023, with the Honourable Mark Brown, Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum and Prime Minister of Cook Islands, extending a warm welcome to leaders and delegates from Smaller Island States (SIS) and beyond. In his opening address, Prime Minister Brown emphasised the significance of unity and collaboration in the region.
With “Our Voices, Our Choices, Our Pacific Way” as the chosen theme for this year’s Forum, Prime Minister Brown underscored the importance of defining development trajectories and fostering partnerships to achieve their vision. He also acknowledged the leadership of Tuvalu as the SIS Chair since 2019 and challenges faced by the region during the past five years.
“We are at a momentous juncture in our history, and there is a lot that we can achieve when we work together as a collective,” Prime Minister Brown stated. He emphasized the collective commitment to the 2050 Strategy and its Implementation Plan, designed to provide a strategic approach to their long-term vision.
The Prime Minister encouraged SIS leaders to reflect on the role they envision for themselves within the Pacific Islands Forum, given the Pacific’s evolving strategic context. He called for a discussion on expectations and the means to address unique vulnerabilities.
“Whatever we decide, one thing is for certain: we must commit to and undertake our SIS objectives together and continue to support our shared aspirations,” Prime Minister Brown declared.
In his final remarks, Prime Minister Brown extended warm wishes to the people of the Federated States of Micronesia on their 37th Independence Day and called for a round of applause in their honour.
The Prime Minister concluded by wishing all the delegates well in their deliberations for the week ahead, re-emphasising the importance of unity and shared goals in the Pacific region.
The 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting will continue to address critical regional issues, with leaders and officials from various island nations engaging in discussions to promote the region’s well-being and development. To keep up to date with the Forum, be sure to check out the Pacific Cooperation Foundation and Pasifika TV websites.