Kiribati will remain part of Pacific family: PM

July 13, 2022 6:25 am

[Source: Pacific Islands Forum / Twitter]

The superpowers of the Pacific have been accorded the full traditional welcome as they come together for the first in-person meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum since 2019.

Forum Chair, Voreqe Bainimarama, while welcoming the heads of the governments of the Pacific, highlighted that this might be the first of its kind, in terms of the plethora and nature of issues they must consider.

With Kiribati’s withdrawal from the PIF on Sunday taking center stage, Bainimarama has stressed that the government of Kiribati has been and will remain a part of our Pacific family.

“We share a rich history, we share a vast ocean, and we share a Pacific culture that has withstood the test of time. I respect the current position of His Excellency, Taneti Maamau, President of the Republic of Kiribati and his Government. “

Bainimarama says the leaders will continue to dialogue towards a resolution that formalizes the deep mutual respect they hold among the Pacific Leaders; a resolution amenable to all Forum Leaders; and one that is in the best interest of our Pacific people.

“A key focus of our Forum Leaders Retreat later this week will be the issue of our regional solidarity and how best we, as a Forum Family, can bolster and galvanize our unity. We simply cannot make the same difference for the health, security, and prosperity of our people, without every Pacific voice helping to chart the course of our region’s direction”

He adds that their common challenges have never been more serious and the world’s focus on our region has never been more intense.  

“It is my personal belief as a proud Pacific Islander that we are at our most resilient as a family; we speak more powerfully as a family; and we can only build our best possible future, together, as a family. And in my capacity as Chair, I assure every one of our Pacific sisters and brothers that there is a seat at this table open to you. Among us you will always sit as equals.”

Climate change and the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the region are some of the key issues that will be discussed by the leaders.