20th October 2020—Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers met with Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs today to plan for the 9th Japan Pacific Island Leaders Meeting (PALM) in 2021.
The 9th PALM will be the first meeting between Pacific leaders and Japan’s new Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga.
With Forum Leaders due to head back to Japan for PALM 9, the virtual meeting on Tuesday evening (midday in Tokyo) reviewed progress on PALM 2018 outcomes and discussed future priorities for the PIF (Pacific Islands Forum) – Japan partnership.
Representing Tuvalu as Forum Chair, Communications, Justice and Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Simon Kofe noted the meeting covered “important progress and achievements that have been made since PALM 8.”
In releasing the Chair’s Summary of the meeting, Minister Kofe highlighted that “discussions covered many of the challenges facing our Blue Pacific, and, indeed, our broader global community. These include COVID-19, combatting climate change, ensuring the sustainable management and use of our oceans and stimulating sustainable and resilient development.”
Minister Kofe encouraged greater collaboration and more future-focussed action to ensure PALM 8 commitments are met.
“It is my belief that meeting these commitments will set the course for a strong and impactful partnership as we move into the future,” he said.
Thanking Mr. Motegi Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and the Government of Japan, Minister Kofe also thanked his fellow Forum Ministers, and Forum Leaders “for their ongoing commitment to regionalism, partnership, and strengthening our region in the Pacific way. This commitment has served to drive and safeguard the sustainable and resilient development of the Pacific.”
Timed between PALM Leaders summits, the PALM Ministerial Interim Meeting reviews progress and sets the agenda for upcoming summits. The PALM is co-chaired by the Prime Minister of Japan and the Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum and is attended by Forum Leaders. It has been held in Japan every three years since 1997. The last session, PALM 8, was held in Fukushima, Japan from 18 – 19 May 2018.
Lisa Williams -Lahari
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Communications & Public Affairs
Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat