Tonga PM and PIF secretary general discuss PILFM53 preparations

Tonga Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku, left, and Baron Waqa. Photo: Supplied/PIF

The 53rd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting (PIFLM53) was the top agenda item during the meeting between the Tonga Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku and Forum secretary general Baron Waqa this week.

Tonga is set to host PIFLM53 under the theme ‘Transformative Resilient Pasifiki’ in August.

The visit to the Kingdom was the first official one from Waqa, where he also shared his key priorities for regionalism with the incoming Forum chair.

“Tonga is well into its countdown to the 53rd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting,” Waqa said.

“We are excited to be part of these preparations and support what will be a historic moment for the incoming Forum chair, and hosting by the Kingdom of Tonga.”

“The theme of a ‘Transformative Resilient Pasifiki”, with a call to ‘Build Better Now’, resonates well with all our Pacific Leaders. It is time to act on promises and do so with our people and our future in mind.”

Waqa also met with the Tongan Crown Prince Tupouto’a Ulukalala, as well as visiting the Tongan Parliament, the Pacific Community (SPC) in Nuku’alofa, and the office of the Climate Minister.

“It was exciting to receive updates from the Prime Minister, Crown Prince Ulukala, and all those I have met so far,” he said.

Waqa expressed appreciation to Hu’akavameiliku for the opportunity to meet and will continue his visit with other key sessions ahead of his departure early Friday, according to the Forum Secretariat.

It said progress on regional priorities and specific programs involving Tonga have been a feature of the talks.