STRENGHTENING regional security and resilience was the focus of the 49th Pacific Islands Forum meetings between Pacific Leaders, Dialogue Partners, and Forum Observers in Nauru today.
“Nauru’s theme for the 49th Pacific Islands Forum is: ‘Building a Stronger Pacific – Our People, Our Islands, Our Will’. It recognises that the future of the Pacific will be determined by its people,” said President of Nauru and Forum Chair President Baron Divavesi Waqa.
“While the Pacific region must drive and forge its own development future – Our People, Our Islands, Our Will – we cannot do this in isolation. In our ever growing globalised world and given the transboundary nature of many of the challenges we face – climate change, marine pollution, unsustainable fishing, transnational crime – partnerships and cooperation are vital to for building a strong and secure Blue Pacific continent.”
“Building a Stronger Pacific means maintaining our collective focus on achieving a region of peace, security, social inclusion and prosperity while realising opportunities to collaborate with likeminded partners – both traditional and new – in support of this vision.”
Two dialogues took place across the second morning of the Forum. The first was with the eighteen Dialogue Partners to the Forum. The theme for the discussion was Building a Strong Pacific – Strengthening regional security to ensure safety and wellbeing for all.
The second dialogue was with the Forum’s Associate Member and Observers and focused on the theme of Building a Strong, Resilient and Sustainable Blue Pacific.
Forum Dialogue Partners engaged with Pacific Leaders on a range of approaches for enhancing regional security, from greater cooperation, to addressing climate change as a security risk, as well as strengthening regional maritime security.
It was emphasised that Pacific Leaders will strengthen regional security cooperation, supported by partnerships to enhance capability and enable greater dialogue, analysis and information sharing.
Forum Associate Members and Observers focused on opportunities for collaboration and action towards a region that is more resilient to the effects of climate change and disaster risk. As part of this discussion, Forum Leaders sought support for the proposed Pacific Resilience Facility, which will be used to co-finance and leverage additional funding for resilience investment of new or existing infrastructure projects in the region.
There are currently 18 Dialogue Partners to the Forum – Canada, People’s Republic of China, Cuba, European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.
The Forum’s Associate member is Tokelau and Observers include American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Guam, Timor Leste, Wallis & Futuna, ACP Secretariat, Asian Development Bank Commonwealth Secretariat, International Organisation for Migration, United Nations Secretariat, Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, and the World Bank.