US re-affirms support to the Pacific

September 30, 2022 1:01 pm

Prime Minister and Pacific Islands Forum Chair, Voreqe Bainimarama [left] with US President, Joe Biden [Source: Twitter]

America has today pledged USD810m in expanded US programs to improve the lives of Pacific Islanders.

It is the first time the United States has hosted a two-day summit with the leaders of 14 Pacific Island countries, since World War Two.

The Pacific delegation is being led by Prime Minister and Pacific Islands Forum Chair, Voreqe Bainimarama who has worked hard to secure this historic summit.

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US President, Joe Biden says this summit honours the deep history that our nations share and a longstanding trade and diplomatic relationship.

The assistance is going to build on approximately USD375million in climate programs that the USA currently has in the region.

“Which includes more than $130 million in new investments to support climate resilience and to build sustainable blue economies in the Pacific Islands; prepare for climate impacts on public health and food security, and to strengthen sustainable development; and also to build a better early warning capacity to predict, prepare for, and respond to climate hazards.”

Biden also stressed that security in the Pacific and its people remains critical.

He says the security of America, quite frankly, and the world depends on the security of the Pacific Islands.

“So, this summit is also about deepening our enduring commitment to each other and our shared future; our commitment to tackling the climate crisis, which threatens all of us. We’re seeing the consequences of climate change around the world very vividly, including in the United States right now. And — and I know your nations feel it acutely. And for you all, it’s an existential threat. It’s an existential threat.”

The US President also stated that they are committed to working together to equitably rebuild the global economy in the wake of COVID-19 and Russia’s war.

“A great deal of the history of our world is going to be written in the Indo-Pacific over the coming years and decades. And the Pacific Islands are a critical voice in shaping that future. And that’s why my administration has made it a priority to strengthen our partnership with your countries and with the Pacific Islands Forum.”

This year the USA also launched the Partners in the Blue Pacific initiative and Biden says this is an initiative they really care about.

“That’s why this historic summit — at this historic summit we’re making additional and concrete commitments. And we’re launching our Pacific Partnership Strategy, the first national U.S. strategy for Pacific Islands, which is a key component to our broader Indo-Pac- — Indo-Pacific strategy.”

Biden also stressed that the United States will never recognize Russia’s claims on Ukraine sovereign territory.

He acknowledged the Pacific Island leaders for standing up for basic principles and for their strong, moral leadership on global issues at the United Nations.

Click here for more on Pacific Partnership Strategy