Pacific leaders

Cook Islands will host Pacific leaders in November

The theme for the annual gathering will be, "Our Voices, Our Choices, Our Pacific Way: Promote, Partner, Prosper".

Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) chair and Cook Islands Prime Minster Mark Brown said hosting the meeting was a significant event for the country and the region.

"We have been planning and consulting extensively to ensure our theme serves to inspire and empower our Leaders gathering," Brown said.

Pacific leaders not surprised by latest climate report, call for rapid action

The report said more than a century of burning fossil fuels and unsustainable land use has had led to global warming of 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

Vanuatu's Minister for Climate Change Ralph Regenvanu said the report makes "very clear" the planet is out of time to make climate transformations.

"The IPCC report is what we expected because the world is not doing what it should be doing," Regenvanu said.

"So there was nothing surprising in that report, it is just more warning and showing that we really need to take drastic action immediately."

Fiji PM eager to host Pacific leaders

Fiji Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka said he remains committed to working closely with Pacific Islands Forum leaders as he looks forward to welcoming them to the country to celebrate the dawn of a new era.

Rabuka highlighted this in a statement on Pacific solidarity.

He stressed that as the Chair of the Forum, he returns to this leadership role as the oldest leader-in-office regionally, which means he does not have the luxury nor the flexibility to make mistakes.

Shock and sadness as Pacific leaders react to Jacinda Ardern's resignation announcement

Brown is among a chorus of Pacific leaders who have sent their good wishes to Ardern after she announced on Thursday she is stepping down from her position after six years on the job.

Brown said he was surprised and sad to hear the news.

He said he wanted to acknowledge her leadership, particularly during difficult times such as the Christchurch terror attack.

He said he was grateful for Ardern's support during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pacific leaders to meet Joe Biden in Washington

The US deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman - who is on a whirlwind Pacific tour - has confirmed President Biden is "looking forward to welcoming" Pacific leaders to the White House in September, which will coincide with the week of the United Nations' General Assembly.

Sherman said the exact date for the meeting will be announced "very soon".

She arrived in Samoa on Thursday for a brief visit and was in Tonga before flying to Solomon Islands for the 80th anniversary commemorations of the of the Battle of Guadalcanal.

Pacific Islands Forum launch new regional blueprint

The '2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent' was endorsed by regional heads of governments on 14 July, as the curtains fell on the 51st Forum Leaders' Meeting in Suva.

"As Pacific Leaders, our vision is for a resilient Pacific Region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and prosperity, that ensures all Pacific peoples can lead free, healthy and productive lives," the 2050 strategy's leaders' vision states.

Forum chairman and Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said the new regional blueprint "is about who we are".

US to hold high-level talks with Pacific leaders

According to the U.S State Department, Mr Blinken will be in Fiji on Friday to discuss a range of issues, including "the climate crisis, ending the Covid-19 pandemic, [and] disaster assistance".

The talks will also include America and the Pacific's "shared commitment to democracy, regional solidarity, and prosperity in the Pacific."

Fiji's acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the country is looking forward to welcoming the Secretary of State.

Pacific agriculture and forestry leaders eye progress post COVID-19

The Government of Fiji hosted the Seventh Regional Meeting of the Pacific Heads of Agriculture and Forestry Services (PHOAFS), held virtually from 25 – 27 August with partners the Pacific Community (SPC), Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the Fiji Ministries of Agriculture and Forestry.  

US to Pacific leaders: be wary of funds with strings attached

Antony Blinken told a virtual summit of leaders and delegates from 11 Pacific countries that economic coercion across the region was on the rise.

While making no specific mention of China, he also spoke of threats to order in the region.

"The United States is all for more development and investments in the Islands, but that investment should adhere to international standards for environmentally and socially sustainable development, and should be pursued transparently, with public consultation.

Pacific leaders tip hat to Biden

The Cook Islands Prime Minister, Mark Brown, said as he watched the polls unfold, he admired Biden's patience and calming comments encouraging the votes of the people to be counted.

Brown said once the election result was in Biden's favour, he watched with admiration the unifying addresses given, decribing them as inspirational to the American people and many admirers internationally.