FORUM SEC GENERAL HENRY PUNA
On the Partners in the Blue Pacific initiative
June 26, 2022—Effective and efficient cooperation in support of Forum Leaders’ vision and priorities has always been the cornerstone of Pacific Islands Forum engagement with Forum Dialogue Partners.
As such, I note with interest the June 24 joint statement on the formation of the ‘Partners in the Blue Pacific’ initiative by Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and their commitment to roll out meaningful engagement with the Pacific under the 2050 Strategy to the Blue Pacific Continent.
The announcement places emphasis on utilising Pacific-led processes and elevating Pacific regionalism, with the Pacific Islands Forum at its centre.
The adage – ‘nothing about us, without us” is our litmus test for the partnerships we want. This is especially true as we look to those who will support Blue Pacific priorities set by our Forum Leaders, as led by the upcoming 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.
Pacific Islands Forum regionalism in 2022 has come a long way since its first meeting in August 1971. In our jubilee year, our founding and enduring vision remains the same – that we work as a collective to foster collaboration and represent the interests of our members, so that all Pacific people can lead free, healthy, and productive lives.
The achievement of this vision has always relied on the will and determination of our members, and it also relies on partners who are willing to engage with us, on our terms. I look forward to deepening mutual understanding through the Partners in the Blue Pacific and to further discussions on this new initiative, within the region. —ENDS.