PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM LEADERS MEETING WITH
THE UN SECRETARY GENERAL
23 SEPTEMBER 2022
STATEMENT BY MR HENRY PUNA
SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM
• Secretary General, Honourable Leaders, let me thank you for this dialogue opportunity between the United Nations and the Pacific Islands Forum.
• Our world continues to grapple with challenges, that require collective solutions. Forums such as this are critical, to ensure an effective strategic alignment between what we do as a united Pacific region, and at the global UN level.
• Our Pacific Leaders have long championed the common, collective challenges of the Pacific…..Climate change, oceans and maritime governance, security, and long-term economic recovery and growth.
• Overlaid with geopolitical competition and the COVID-19 pandemic, these challenges grow in complexity, requiring stronger strategic and multi-stakeholder responses.
• Secretary General, a major part of that high level response, is the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.
• Excellencies –
• For us in the Pacific, the 2050 Strategy and its vision ensures our region lives up to its name. And alongside peace and harmony, that we uphold environmental integrity, social inclusion and prosperity.
• At its core the 2050 Strategy is about working smarter with what we have, particularly our vast, shared resources, to ensure we address challenges such as climate change impacts, and to ensure we achieve the economic, social and development goals we’ve set for ourselves.
• Secretary General, in the face of unprecedented change, Pacific innovation, resilience and solidarity has shown us what can be achieved. We don’t define ourselves by the vulnerability of our small islands, but by the strength of our spirit and our large oceans.
• The mindsets and determination of our people have led to game-changing global milestones. We did this in Paris with the Paris Agreement. We’ve applied it in fisheries access rights, to the world’s richest tuna fishing grounds.
• The 2050 Strategy will support the achievement of the broader global 2030 agenda. At one level, we have begun to map and align our regional pathways to the SDG framework, which will ensure that when we deliver on the 2050 Strategy, we are also delivering on the SDGs at the same time. On another more substantive level, the vision and themes of the 2050 Strategy fully and completely align with the “5 Ps” of the global goals: people, planet, peace, prosperity, and partnerships.
• Secretary General, the Strategy is also a call to action. The future starts now. We cannot and will not ease off on urgent issues such as climate change and know that if we are to achieve our vision, we must act with absolute urgency on these issues. Secretary General, we implore you to continue your excellent efforts in this regard.
• Indeed, alignment and cooperation between the UN system and our own Pacific regional architecture is essential, to deliver on both the SDGs and the 2050 Strategy.
• Excellencies – in closing, let me reiterate that the world and our own region remain in the grip of numerous highly complex challenges. These require collective action and cooperation, at all levels.
• Excellencies, Secretary General, I seek your full political and technical support, to achieve our vision and our aspirations, for the good of our planet, and for the good of our future generations.
• I thank you. –ENDS
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