Delivered by Dr Filimon Manoni, Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum
Korea-Pacific Islands Countries Seminar
Friday, 24 June 2022
Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
Honourable Deputy Minister,
Honourable Minister and Representative of the Forum Chair,
Ladies and gentlemen
Thank you for joining us at the Forum Secretariat this morning for this seminar on Korea and the Pacific Islands – Past, Present and Future.
It is my pleasure to welcome the Republic of Korea’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs, Mr Yeo Seung-Bae, to the Secretariat and to our Blue Pacific region.
Dialogue Partner engagement
The Republic of Korea is, and continues to be, a long standing and important Forum Dialogue Partner and development partner to our region.
Forum Leaders established the Dialogue Partner mechanism in 1989 with five founding partners.
Today, the Forum has 21 Dialogue Partners and just last year, Forum Leaders endorsed renewed criteria and guidelines to strengthen this partnership mechanism for our Member states.
Indeed, as we experience growing geopolitical and partner interest in our region, our Forum Leaders are interested in pursuing effective, transparent, and accountable partnerships in support of their regional vision and priorities.
Excellencies, officials, next month, our Forum Leaders will meet here in Suva for the 51st Pacific Islands Forum. A key focus for their agenda will be a 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.
Our region faces great challenges including the impacts of climate change; high rates of non-communicable diseases; violence against women and girls; plastics and pollution in our ocean; and the COVID-19 pandemic. We also have great strengths including our culture and traditions, our resilience, and our island and ocean resources.
The 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent will represent our long-term pathway to deepen regional cooperation. It will reflect our shared strategic interests, as the Blue Pacific. It will frame our future partnerships and collaboration.
Going forward, we invite the Republic of Korea, and all our Forum Dialogue Partners, to align their cooperation and engagement to the vision, priorities and principles of the 2050 Strategy.
Excellencies and officials,
In the immediate term, our Blue Pacific region – and indeed our world – faces an existential challenge.
Our Forum Leaders have identified climate change, as the single greatest threat facing our Blue Pacific region. Action to keep our world below 1.5 degrees is vital for the future survival, prosperity and wellbeing of our region.
As we look to COP 27 in Egypt, we call on the Republic of Korea and all our Forum Dialogue Partners to ensure it delivers clear progress on turning pledges and commitments into action, consistent with the 1.5 degrees pathway. COP 27 must also advance work on the ocean-climate nexus and show meaningful progress on a new collective quantified climate finance goal and on the dialogue on funding arrangements for loss and damage.
As the Blue Pacific Continent, we are proactive on all fronts to collectively fight this climate battle with every possible means and avenue available to us.
In this regard, we also call on partner support for our Forum Leaders Declaration on Preserving Maritime Boundaries in the face of Climate Change-Related Sea-Level Rise.
Preserving maritime zones in the manner set out in the Declaration is essential and fundamental to ensuring a just international response to climate change-related sea-level rise.
Honourable Deputy Minister, thank you once again for your time today and we look forward to hearing from you on opportunities to strengthen the Korea – Pacific Islands partnership to tackle our common challenges and take forward our regional ambition for a sustainable, inclusive future for all.