[Source: Fijian Government]
US President Joe Biden has made announcements that have fundamentally transformed U.S and Pacific relations in the firs-ever US-Pacific Summit in Washington yesterday.
Biden launched the first-ever U.S strategy for the Pacific Islands that has at its heart, support for the Pacific’s own 2050 Blue Pacific Strategy.
He also announced the appointment of a special envoy to the Pacific Island Forum to take forward the U.S’s enhanced commitments to the region.
The U.S President, while delivering his inaugural address, announced an increase of USD$810 million of additional support to take forward these new commitments by the U.S.
Biden says these far-reaching commitments honour the deep history of the Pacific Islands and the U.S and also promote their longstanding trade and diplomatic relationships.
He said the summit is about deepening our enduring commitment to each other and our shared future and our commitment to tackling the climate crisis, which threatens all of us.
“We’re also committed to working together to equitably rebuild the global economy in the wake of COVID-19 and Russia’s war to ensure an Indo-Pacific region that’s free and open, one that is stable and prosperous, and resilient and secure.”
The first-ever U.S-Pacific Country Summit also builds on growing high-level engagements with Fiji and the Pacific.
This included President Biden’s address on the invitation Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama last year, making him the first-ever U.S President to address Forum Leaders.
Speaking on behalf of the Pacific leaders, Prime Minister Bainimarama says the Blue Pacific met the U.S as an oceanic superpower.
Bainimarama adds that their shared prosperity depends on peace and security across a connected Indo-Pacific and it depends on securing emissions cuts in line with the 1.5-degree target.
He stressed that America is not there yet and asked the American people to make that commitment.
At the same time, Bainimarama welcomed the US Pacific Strategy.
The Prime Minister thanked the U.S Government for the broadest possible engagement throughout the summit having made much progress on deepening trade, tourism, education, security, and other areas of cooperation.