“The people of our islands live with the sea from their earliest days. Fish, shell fish, types of sea weed, are everyday foods; pearl shell and fish provide a cash income. The sea provides a means of travel and transportation, and it features as a major aspect in our customs and traditions and proud heritage of explorers and navigators” – Sir Albert Henry, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands (1974).
The Blue Pacific narrative that emerged from last year’s Pacific Islands Forum in Samoa recognises the special relationship we have with the ocean. It encourages us to think and act as one ‘Blue Continent’ for the benefit of our people and our environment.
Sir Albert Henry’s statement to the 3rd United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea highlights why the Pacific Ocean should underpin the future well-being and wealth of our people.
Enabling our people to chart their own path to prosperity lies at the heart of the theme for the 49th Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru this year: Building a Stronger Pacific – Our People, Our Islands, Our Will.
Acknowledging our common connection to the ocean and the potential it holds, we can continue to take ownership of our Forum Leaders’ vision for the region – a place of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion, and prosperity so that all Pacific people can lead free, healthy and productive lives.
You can read the full statement delivered by Sir Albery Henry here.