5th Korea-Pacific Islands Foreign Ministers Meeting
26 October 2022
Opening Remarks, Honourable Dalton Tagelagi, Premier of Niue
The Honourable Park Jin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea
Honourable Ministers, Excellencies and colleagues
1. Faka’alofa lahi atu, and warm Pacific greetings to you all.
2. It is my distinct privilege to deliver opening remarks on behalf of the Pacific Island Countries around the table this morning.
3. Honourable Ministers, we gather here this week to honour and renew the partnership between the Blue Pacific and the Republic of Korea. From the outset, may I thank you Minister Jin for the excellent arrangements afforded to us since we arrived in your beautiful country. Indeed it sets an appropriate tone for our discussions today, one founded on mutual respect, and an appreciation for the important matters in the agenda before us.
4. Honourable Ministers, Korea and the Pacific have a strong history of partnership. Indeed, that partnership was elevated in 1995 when Korea became a Pacific Islands Forum Dialogue Partner, providing the foundation for almost three decades of cooperation and engagement. As we celebrate our history, we look forward to deepening this partnership with our eyes set firmly on our future, building on our shared interests and the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ vision for our Blue Pacific region.
5. We gather here at an opportune time to discuss and consider the partnership we want to see prosper between Korea and the Blue Pacific. As you are aware, in July this year Forum Leaders adopted the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. It was a landmark moment for our region, collectively committing to a strategy that will serve as our North Star in what we firmly believe are critical and decisive years ahead.
6. As you will have seen in recent months, Forum centrality has reinforced our engagement as a Blue Pacific, recognising our strength as a collective to address the often harsh and peculiar realities we face in our corner of the world. I look forward to strengthening areas for cooperation and mutual benefit, particularly in the areas of climate change, ocean governance, people to people links and economic development.
7. As we convene over the following days, I urge all parties to be open – to be bold – and to aspire to take this partnership to a deeper and prosperous future, particularly as we look towards our first ever Korea – Pacific Leaders’ Summit next year.
8. With these brief opening remarks, may I thank you once again, Minister Jin, for hosting this important meeting. We look forward to the robust discussions before us.
9. Fakaue Lahi.–ENDS
CHECKED AGAINST DELIVERY