New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs Carmel Sepuloni. [Source: Labour Party]
New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs Carmel Sepuloni will travel to Fiji for the Pacific Islands Forum Special Leaders’ Retreat this week.
Sepuloni is expected to arrive in Fiji on Thursday.
This will be her first opportunity in both roles to meet Pacific leaders face-to-face and discuss regional priorities and issues.
She says that New Zealand is proud to participate in meetings such as the Special Leaders’ Retreat, where they can contribute to decision-making and find solutions to shared challenges.
Sepuloni further says that the Pacific Islands Forum serves as the preeminent mechanism to chart what is important in and to the Pacific, and to respond to these priorities in a coordinated way.
New Zealand’s deputy PM says a key focus of this Special Leaders’ Retreat will be welcoming Kiribati back as a Member of the Forum, reaffirming regional unity and ensuring they continue to make progress towards the shared goals.
Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka will also transfer chairing responsibilities of the Forum to Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown during the meeting.
Sepuloni says in the face of the increasingly complex challenges posed to the Pacific including from climate change, the impacts of which are currently being felt in New Zealand, a unified approach to collective action has never been more important.