Delivered by the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Henry Puna
at the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting Media Workshop Opening Session
02 November, Cook Islands.
To our Forum Chair, Hon. PM Mark Brown, and your officials,
Media editors of the Pacific and our PINA family,
To your resource support and technical teams from SPC, SPREP, and the UN
Kia Orana tatou katoatoa, Bula vinaka, it’s great to welcome you home.
It’s been more than ten years since you last travelled to our shores following the Forum Leaders and the high-level decisions shaping our region.
Some of you have just arrived.
Others are already filing reports home.
Most of your colleagues will literally hit the ground running this weekend.
For all of us, today marks another milestone related to a topic close to all our people – climate change. As of today, Nov 2, we are officially 28 Days away from the COP 28 Opening ceremony on Nov 30 in the UAE.
28 days to COP28.
28 days honouring 28 years of our collective Pacific advocacy journey to get the world back on track for a 1.5 net zero future.
I know some of you here are also planning to be there, reporting from the Moana Blue Pacific pavilion and spaces where Prime Minister Brown and a team of Pacific Political Champions on Climate will take our Pacific priorities and messages to the annual COP negotiations.
In the coming days here in Rarotonga, you will hear more of those priorities –for now, let me voice our appreciation for your interest.
Tracking the Forum Leader stories across the many platforms you represent really helps power the collective mana of our Pacific Islands Forum family. It helps people imagine and speak about what the Pacific will look like in 2050.
In this regard, may I especially welcome the partnership and efforts of our host nation broadcaster Cook Islands Television, and your innovative leadership in trialing a regional content team pooling the host country voice of our people across TV and digital platforms, and importantly, in both languages. Thank you, Tiana, Raemaki, Maria, and, of course, the tireless host of this work, Jeane Matenga Isamaela.
A special acknowledgment also to our Pacific TV Broadcasters for supporting content sharing with our Forum members so that the people of the Pacific can feel closer to the outcomes our Forum Leaders will achieve this coming week.
Together with our CROP partners, what you are achieving together as a Pacific Media family in Rarotonga will help to pave the way for future Forum Leaders meetings.
This is excellent news for newsmakers and the people we serve, making it the best news for us.
Whether it’s the Teieniwa Vision, the Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration, or the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific continent — each and together, you all play vital roles in keeping us all informed and engaged with the happenings here in the coming week.
You are supporting good governance and regionalism.
Your networks and collegial support of each other, especially in the innovative Reo o te Pasifika, or Pacific Voices program launched last night, captures the theme behind the 52nd Forum.
You are our Voices, Our Choices, Our Pacific Way in action.
Welcome to another Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Media Workshop—I will –we will — be watching you!–