COVID-19, Oceans, Climate Change lead Forum Foreign Ministerial 2020 Agenda

PIFS HQ, Suva, Fiji, October 14: Pacific Foreign Ministers are to open their annual Forum meeting this morning with the agenda item topping many global meetings- COVID-19.

Gathering virtually for the first time since it was first convened in 2015, the meeting will cover updates on regional COVID-19 responses and management and discuss equitable access for Pacific communities to the vaccine, when it does become available.

The high- level meeting will cover a wide range of agenda items, including a closer look at resourcing Climate Change work, including strategic regional preparation for the deferred global climate change negotiations, COP26, now timed for 2021 in Glasgow, UK. Discussions on oceans and maritime boundaries impacts from sea level rise are also planned.

“2020 was always going to be a defining moment for Pacific regionalism and our common future,” said Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor. “The COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for our priorities. It’s clear that strategic high-level direction is going to make the difference to how the Blue Pacific continent ensures our priorities and shapes the global agenda on climate change and oceans. The Forum Foreign Ministerial continues to be an important part of that shift.”

The purpose of the Forum Foreign Ministers meeting is to direct action on a wide range of foreign policy issues affecting Forum priorities, and to strengthen regionalism.

The Forum Foreign Ministers meeting was first convened in Australia in 2015, as Forum Leaders recognised their Foreign Ministers have a key role to play in deepening regionalism, through strengthening policy cohesion on agreed regional political priorities and engaging on these in regional and international fora.

FFMM gatherings often include Pacific Forum Leaders holding Foreign Affairs portfolios, and a wide range of policy officials linked to the agenda items. Observers from Pacific regional organisations will also be attending.

-ENDS-

Contact:  Lisa Williams-Lahari, Public Affairs Adviser, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) l lisaw@forumsec.org

News Editors: To register for the October 16th FFMM 2020 Outcomes Press Conference at 10am(FJ)  please email media@forumsec.org  with FFMM2020 Press in the subject line.

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