2023 KOREA INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION CONFERENCE ON OCEANS AND FISHERIES, KICCOF
30 May 2023
Busan, Republic of Korea
FORUM CHAIR OF THE PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM
COOK ISLANDS PRIME MINISTER MARK BROWN
Ladies and gentlemen,
· Warm Pacific greetings from the Pacific Islands Forum. It is my pleasure to join you all here at the 2023 Korea International Cooperation Conference on Oceans and Fisheries.
· I take this opportunity to congratulate the Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries and the Korea Maritime Institute of the Republic of Korea on the successful hosting, organising and sponsoring of this very important event.
· Our Blue Pacific Ocean is our biggest endowment for our Pacific Island Countries, and we are committed, through the implementation of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, to ensuring that our ocean and its resources are protected, managed and developed in a sustainable manner. 96% of our region is ocean and Pacific Island Countries are stewards of over 40 million square kilometers of the Pacific Ocean, spanning nearly 20 percent of the earth’s surface. With that comes great responsibility and we have demonstrated strong, global leadership which led to the adoption of SDG14 and its targets.
· The potential for the ocean to meet our sustainable development needs is enormous. To harness this potential, we must ensure that the ocean’s health is protected and maintained to a healthy and productive state.
· Fisheries is one of our key ocean resources; it supports the livelihoods and food security of our people, and it’s also a major revenue source for our Pacific economies. However, the sustainability of our fisheries is compromised by the impacts of climate change, marine pollution and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
· Our region has benefited from the support provided by the Republic of Korea and we appreciate the continued efforts by the Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries and the Korea Maritime Institute to deepen our cooperation. I believe our cooperation, and through knowledge sharing and research, we can jointly find solutions that will support our collective efforts in protecting our ocean and sustainably developing our fisheries sector.
· I strongly believe that today’s International Conference on Oceans and Fisheries will be a platform to raise awareness and strengthen cooperation measures for the sustainable development of the oceans and fisheries sector. And most importantly, by sharing Korea’s good experience and best practice to developing countries, I believe we can make a big step forward to achieving the vision of our Forum Leaders stipulated in the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.
· Ladies and gentlemen, I take this opportunity to express my best wishes for the success of the 2023 Korea International Cooperation Conference on Oceans and Fisheries and I look forward to our deliberations.
Meitaki Ma’ata. –ENDS
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