Delivered by the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Henry Puna.
at the Seventh Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development
21 November 2023, Suva Fiji.
The Hon Tingika Elikana, Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Cook Islands;
Esteemed dignitaries, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
Warm greetings to each and every one of you.
We meet here today at the end of another successful Forum Leaders Meeting.
Indeed, it was a Meeting that has born a range of directives and instructions for the region’s collective engagement and advocacy, not the least being, the fresh endorsement of the 2050 Strategy Implementation Plan.
In more ways than one, this Leaders Meeting and the decisions emanating from this Forum will catalyse the change that we need to see as a region, especially in how we combine our efforts and our partnerships towards our common goals and indeed, the achievement of our Leaders vision for 2050.
Underpinning the discussions in Rarotonga, was the Leaders acknowledgement of the importance of aligning with the 2050 Strategy across all sectors and partnerships to ensure effective regional cooperation and taking into account the diversity of our vast region.
Ladies and Gentlemen.
This Annual Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development will feature discussions on Poverty, Hunger, Climate Change, Governance, and Partnerships. These discussions will involve eloquent descriptions, vivid reports, strategies, and plans.
However, it is crucial that we translate our decisions into actions that bring about genuine transformation and progress.
The time for talk and discussions are now behind us – we need to be working towards meaningful partnerships that will deliver the results that we need to see.
I trust that your conversations over the next two days will support our collective engagements on sustainable development issues over the course of 2024.
2024 will be a big year for the region, and in particular, the Small Island Developing States – this is our chance to galvanise the advocacy and support we need, and I urge you all to work with us and with our Members to make it count.
With those few words, I wish you all well in the discussions over the next few days.
Meitaki ma’ata and vinaka vakalevu.