2023 KOREA-PACIFIC ISLANDS SUMMIT
29 May 2023
Opening Remarks by the
Pacific Islands Forum Chair
Cook Islands Prime Minister, The Hon. Mark Brown
Our gracious host – The President of the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Yoon Suk Yeol;
Fellow Pacific Islands Forum Leaders and Ministers.
Ladies and Gentlemen.
· Kia Orana, and warm greetings from the peoples of the Blue Pacific. It is my honour to address you today as the Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum and Co-chair of this, our inaugural Korea-Pacific Islands Summit.
· As Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum, we strongly value our close partnership and engagement with the Republic of Korea which is a long-standing and important Dialogue Partner to the Forum, and crucial development partner to the Pacific Islands region.
· The challenges ahead of us, as a region are vast and complex. We can only overcome them with the support of partners such as the Republic of Korea.
· We welcome the opportunity to participate and meaningfully engage in today’s Summit in order to strengthen our engagement and cooperation on areas of mutual interest including climate change and disaster risk and resilience, ocean governance, maritime affairs and fisheries, people-to-people exchange and sustainable economic development.
· In pursing our ambitions as the Blue Pacific, we strive for genuine and enduring partnerships, in the spirit of our Blue Pacific Principles for Dialogue and Engagement and that recognises and support the collective strength, voice, and priorities of our Pacific region.
· For far too often now, we have to contend with Partners determining for us the priorities that are most important to us. This era is now over. If you want to work in our region, you need to work with us so that your efforts
complement and strengthen ongoing efforts at the national and regional level.
· This sentiment is at the heart of our region’s collective vision as espoused in the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. The Strategy will ensure that we secure and sustain peace and stability in our region, and that we engage as one region.
· Our meeting today is an opportunity to strengthen our understanding of our common priorities and issues of importance to our region and indeed, our world.
· The elevation of our dialogue to a Summit level demonstrates significant progress in the Korea-Pacific Islands cooperation and the political commitment by Leaders to further promote friendly relations between Korea and the Pacific Islands Forum for a free, peaceful and prosperous Pacific region.
· Honourable Leaders, as the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war has shown us, regional and inter-regional cooperation is essential if we are to build a safe, secure, and prosperous world.
· Let us ensure this Summit progresses our important partnership and ultimately builds the resilience, sustainability, peace, and prosperity of our region.
· Meitaki ma’ata. I thank you. –ENDS
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