Delivered by the Pacific Islands Forum Officer in Charge, Apaitia Veiogo
at the Pacific Islands Forum -Pacific Islands News Association Media Dialogue
25 January 2023
To the PINA President Mr Kora Nou and your leadership team, and to Ms Makereta Komai, Secretary of the Pacific Islands News Association—Bula vinaka, good morning and on behalf of the Secretary General Henry Puna and Deputy SG Dr Filimon Manoni and our Secretariat team, I am pleased to welcome you all back to what is surely a familiar venue—this time to speak to a key topic bringing you here as key partners in accountability, transparency, and information sharing to the people of our Blue pacific continent, and beyond.
It has been some years since you–the top level of PINA leadership, have had the opportunity to gather face to face, and so may I welcome you all back to Suva for your meetings this week. Thank you for accepting our invitation to visit, talanoa and share your expertise and insights as we begin the implementation phase of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific continent. As the leaders in your field, with a long history of regional experience, you bring a distinct and necessary partnership to the table—one that our leaders identified in the early years of the Forum, as crucial to the mandate to communicate and serve the values of regionalism.
The 2050 Strategy for our Blue Pacific continent endorsed by our leaders at the 51st meeting in Suva, now frames our work program going forward. You will be hearing from some of our teams and those leading the work we do across the three work streams covering governance and engagement, policy, and programs and initiatives. We look forward to your frank sharing and questions, noting that whatever we cover today—no matter what the topic– will also fall under one or more of the 2050’s key seven themes:
Today, most importantly, we want to hear your voices more. More from you, on what your vision for Pacific media at 2050 holds for the region. More from you on new opportunities and challenges for Pacific Media regionalism, and how you view our role in your response to the times we are in. I also note we are currently faced with fashioning a new MOU between PINA and the Forum. President and your leadership team, today’s dialogue will surely help progress discussions in that regard, and I look forward to it.
We are in unprecedented times. PINA, like the Forum and all our regional organisations and our member nations, have all come through the last three years with a great deal of resilience and surely, with new ways of working smarter, better and more efficiently for our Pacific people.
In that vein, I note the Q and A approach—the marker of your industry—will be in full force today, and am sure we will all benefit from the informal sharing and talanoa planned for this briefing.
The Pacific Islands Forum remains ready to assist our common areas of solidarity and strength for regionalism.
We are grateful for your partnership and commitment to a strong and informed Blue Pacific region where our people are free, healthy and able to prosper.
The 2050 Strategy is our North star to that vision, and together we can better achieve it for the communities whose interest we serve—the people of the Pacific.
We all look forward to the outcomes of your session today and across your time here in Suva. Once more, welcome to the Secretariat, and we wish you all the best for a productive visit to Fiji.
Vinaka vakalevu, I thank you.