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Foreign Ministers meet at Pacific Islands Forum

Pacific Islands Forum news

The Associate Foreign Minister Aupito William Sio will travel to Fiji this week to represent New Zealand at the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Suva.

Aupito William Sio is attending at the request of Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta, who is unable to travel to the meeting after contracting COVID-19.

“The Pacific Islands Forum is at the heart of our engagement with the region. It is the pre-eminent institutional structure for addressing Pacific priorities, and talks with the PIF Secretariat were a priority during my visit to Fiji in March,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

“This Forum Foreign Ministers’ Meeting which precedes the Leaders’ Forum comes at a critical time. The most pressing security and economic challenges for the Pacific are from the effects of climate change. Aotearoa New Zealand stands alongside the Pacific to mitigate and adapt to the impact of sea-level rise. Half of our $1.3 billion climate finance commitments announced late last year are for the Pacific.

“We also welcome the Pacific-led solution that will see Micronesian states represented at the Forum this year, and acknowledge the leadership of the Fiji government and the PIF Secretariat to secure this outcome,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

“We are looking forward to reconnecting kanohi ki te kanohi, face to face, with other Pacific ministers and leaders, after disruptions to previous meetings caused by COVID-19. This will be the first in-person meeting of Forum Foreign Ministers since 2019,” Aupito William Sio said.

“Other pressing issues for the Forum include regional responses to broader security challenges, including maritime surveillance and illegal fishing, support for economic resilience, managing the COVID-19 pandemic, and responding to natural disasters and emergencies.

“It will be a valuable opportunity to initiate region-wide discussions on key Pacific priorities. These conversations will be continued by Leaders when they gather next week at the Forum Leaders’ meetings in Suva, from the 11th to 14th of July.

“I look forward to the opportunity to talanoa with my counterparts from across the Blue Pacific Continent. It has been challenging to bring all Ministers together given the impact of the global pandemic and a number of national elections underway in the Pacific, but this talanoa is essential for our region. I would like to thank Fiji for chairing and hosting the Forum meetings this year,” said Aupito William Sio.

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  1. Uh huh, climate change ????????

    Because THAT’S the biggest threat to the pacific right now ????????

  2. Pacific ocean nuclear testing issue is still unresolved after several decades. Americans and French sheated.
    Marshall Islands was a proving ground remember.

    28,000 Australian and New Zealand/Aotearoa troops risked exposure to radiation following atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as PoWs or occupation forces.
    Total of 318 US, UK and French nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands, French Polynesia/Te Ao Maohi, Kiribati, Australia (plus 600 dangerous “minor trials”), Johnston/Kalama Atoll (US Territory) and Amchitka Island, Alaska.
    Tens of thousands of military and civilian personnel from the UK, Australia, France, New Zealand/Aotearoa and Fiji participated in the tests; many suffered exposure to radiation.
    Fallout from French Pacific nuclear tests dispersed across the South Pacific region, including in Fiji, Cook Islands, Niue, New Zealand, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, and Tuvalu. While New Zealand government monitoring concluded that radiation “levels constituted no public health hazard“, further research is required into the human and environmental implications of fallout.
    Pacific nuclear testing killed thousands of animals, destroyed fragile ecosystems and damaged coral atolls; test sites in Marshall Islands, French Polynesia/Te Ao Maohi and Amchitka Island show signs of leaching radioactive material into the ocean.
    Areas of the land and seas of the Marshall Islands, French Polynesia/Te Ao Maohi, Kiribati, Australia, Johnston/Kalama Atoll (US Territory) and Amchitka Island, Alaska continue to be contaminated by radiation.

    West cannot be trusted by small island nations in the Pacific. Japanese are still releasing radiated water in the Pacific.


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