Pacific leaders

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.

Pacific leaders congratulate NZ's Ardern

Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said his country looked forward to enhancing its bilateral engagements with New Zealand and advancing regional and global issues of common interests to both countries.

He said through the leadership of Ardern, the Pacific region would become stronger and more resilient together when negotating the unprecendented challenges that existed.

The Cook Islands Prime Minister, Mark Brown, said he texted his congratulations to Ardern and looked forward to working closely with her.

Pacific student leaders to gather in Auckland for Polyfest conference

About 100 students will attend the ASB Polyfest Leaders Conference at Unitec on Wednesday and Thursday, which is aimed at empowering them before they return to school and ASB Polyfest group rehearsals.  

PMN News reports the students will hear and experience presentations from Annie Crummer and Luke Crawford, dance challenges with tutoring from Vincent Farane and Leki Jackson-Bourke, video challenges and cultural masterclasses.

Pacific leaders call for action from industrial nations

Forum leaders met with António Guterres on Saturday ahead of the UN supremo's special Climate Action Summit and UN General Assembly.

They highlighted critical priorities to securing the future of the Pacific region.

New Zealand's Minister for Pacific People's represented the country ahead of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's arrival.

Aupito William Sio says beyond the plea for action, Pacific leaders urge industrial nations to then stay on course to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 in order to limit temperature rise.

Pacific leaders pay tribute to Tonga’s Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva

Pacific leaders took to social media to express their condolences to the people of the Kingdom of Tonga and Mr Pohiva’s family,

The President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau Jnr shared a tweet on Twitter.

“On behalf of the People and Government of Palau, our sincere condolences to the People and Government of Tonga for the passing of The Honorable Prime Minister Pohiva,” Remengesau said.

Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison said he was “terribly saddened to hear of the passing of Tongan Prime Minister, the Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva.”