Seoul, Korea 26th May 2023–Pacific Islands Forum Leaders are driving new global momentum for climate change and other collective priorities in a week of meetings with India, the US, and South Korea. The 1st Korea-Pacific Islands Summit on May 29 between Forum Leaders and South Korea President Yoon Suk Yeol is co-hosted by the Korea Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.
It will also be the third high-level meeting for Pacific Leaders in the space of seven days. On May 22 in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Leaders met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, off the back of time with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the third Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation, or FIPIC.
The back-to-back India and US meetings with Pacific Islands Leaders, followed by the inaugural Korea-Pacific Islands Summit on May 29th, provide “unprecedented momentum for global awareness and engagement on regional and national priorities,” says Pacific Islands Forum, Secretary General Henry Puna. SG Puna led a PIF Observer delegation to the 3rd FIPIC summit, and supported the Forum Chair, Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown, and members at the US-PIF Leaders Dialogue session.
Heading the PIF delegation to Korea, SG Puna welcomed what he says is a “massive boost for recognition of our priorities, and our vision for the Blue Pacific Continent, endorsed by Forum Leaders as the blueprint for Pacific regionalism for the next three decades.”
“The 2050 Strategy encapsulates how we can best work together to achieve our shared vision and aspirations, and when it comes to partnerships with the rest of the world, our leaders have been very clear that all who come to the Forum table must come to strengthen regional solidarity, not undermine it,” he said.
Since the July 2022 Forum Leaders meeting there has been an unprecedented schedule of high-level visits from Forum Dialogue Partners keen to demonstrate inclusive, enduring partnerships that recognise the collective strength of our Blue Pacific.
“Forum Leaders see this as vital to addressing the challenges facing the Blue Planet, to planning and owning our development agenda, and to deepened climate resilience,” SG Puna said.
The Korea summit meeting with President Yoon Suk Yeol is the premiere event in a week of leader engagements underscoring the host theme “Navigating towards Co-Prosperity: Strengthening Cooperation with the Blue Pacific” theme. The Leader Schedule covers events in Seoul and Busan, including a World Climate Expo event featuring Pacific keynote speakers, and a visit on May 30 to the Busan World Expo site, a key feature of Korea’s bid for the 2030 World Expo.