Opening Remarks by the Chair of the Forum Officials’ Committee
Mr Esala Nayasi, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, FIJI
at the Pre-Forum Session of the Forum Officials Committee
7 October 2020
Excellencies, Senior Officials and Representatives of the Pacific Islands Forum, Representatives of the CROP agencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
Good morning from Suva.
I am privileged to have this opportunity to Chair this Pre-Forum session of the Forum Officials Committee this morning.
We meet today amidst a very volatile and fluid global economy. It has consistently required us to review, reflect and revise the manner in which we work, the partnerships we foster and the priorities that we continue to progress at the national, regional and international level.
The ongoing geopolitical tussle and developments that continue around us and the heightened commentary in the media about the Pacific Islands Forum and its future, signal the level of importance that is offered to our efforts as a collective. Indeed, for myself, I can say that I have been personally encouraged by the engagement of the region in the ongoing work on our 2050 Strategy – indeed, it is always fulfilling to know that we all continue to work in service to our people and our Pacific region.
Excellencies and Colleagues, the Pacific Islands Forum has come a long way in its 49- year history. I would offer that if there were ever a time where regional solidarity and cooperation was most important, it is now. Our respective Member States have made a commitment to see through the vision that our founding fathers had for our region and our people when they first established this collective in 1971 – the onus is on us, as advisers to our Leaders to uphold this commitment.
Whilst it may seem like the region is at a crossroads in its history, I am confident that we will all hold fast to our commitments to this collective, not for us but for those who are coming after us – for our people, our future and this Blue Pacific Continent we all call home.
Excellencies and Colleagues, I trust that we all agree that regionalism will not work, if we do not work together. We are the primary advisers to our Leaders and I urge us all to stand strong in our commitment we will, together, see through 2020 as a stronger collective.
With those few words, I recognise that we have a full agenda before us and I look forward to our deliberations. I thank you.