News Item

Prime Minister to attend Pacific Islands Forum

13 Aug 2019

12 August 2019

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will attend the 50th Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu this week, the foremost annual meeting of Pacific leaders.

"The Government is lifting New Zealand's strategic ambition and investment in the Pacific, through our Pacific Reset, and the Forum gives us the opportunity to progress collective action on significant issues that affect us all," Jacinda Ardern said.

"I will be listening to and discussing key Pacific issues frankly to encourage cooperation on shared regional challenges.

"With Tuvalu at the forefront of global climate change I look forward to progressing ways to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change so we have the strongest possible climate resilience across the Pacific.

"I'll also raise women's representation in leadership positions and throughout politics.

"The Pacific has the lowest proportion of women's representation in national parliaments in the world - 8 per cent compared to a global average of 23 per cent.

"I also look forward to several side meetings with leaders from around the Pacific along with our Dialogue partners," Jacinda Ardern said.

Minister Sio said New Zealand has strong ancestral and genealogical ties to Pacific Island countries, and an enduring commitment to the region to ensure its beauty and resources are protected for future generations.

"As a Government with the highest number of Ministers of Pacific heritage, we share a collective ambition to stand with Pacific Island countries to amplify their voices on climate change so the world can take their fight seriously," Aupito William Sio said.

Tuvalu has set the theme for this year's Forum as 'Securing our Future in the Pacific'.

The Prime Minister will travel from 14 to 16 August, during which time Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters will be Acting Prime Minister. Minister Sio will travel from 11 to 15 August.

Background

The Pacific Islands Forum is the region's premier political and economic policy organisation. Founded in 1971, it has 18 members: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Since 1989, the Forum has also organised an annual meeting with key Dialogue Partners at Ministerial level. The Forum currently recognises 18 dialogue partners: 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.

Beehive.govt.nz

Image: Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat