Secretary General Meg Taylor’s Welcome Remarks to the 2018 Clean Pacific Roundtable

WELCOME REMARKS

2018 Clean Pacific Roundtable

Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General

 

20 August 2018

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat

Suva, Fiji

 

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, the Right Honourable Voreqe Bainimarama;

Senior Representatives of the Pacific Islands Forum and the membership of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme;

The Director General of the SPREP, Kosi Latu and representatives of the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific;

Representatives of the European Union and the Japan International Cooperation Agency;

Ladies and Gentlemen

Ni sa bula vinaka.

 

I warmly welcome you all to your Secretariat for this 2018 Clean Pacific Roundtable initiative, spearheaded by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme with the generous support of the European Union and Japan.

 

I am, very pleased to welcome the Honourable Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji to this event and the Secretariat – Prime Minister, thank you very much for gracing this occasion and Fiji’s continued leadership on issues of import for our region.

 

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, at their meeting in 2017, Pacific Leaders emphasised the strength in our solidarity as a collective through our Blue Pacific identity. The Blue Pacific calls for a renewed commitment to work together, through harnessing our collective strengths to address our shared challenges in order to build a strong and resilient Pacific.

 

Leaders also committed to fast track the development of policies to ban the use of single-use plastic bans, plastic and Styrofoam packaging and called on Pacific Rim partners to join and commit to action on addressing marine pollution and marine debris.

 

This roundtable event is the region’s response to collectively considering, discussing and deciding on practical solutions to progress the Leaders’ decision. The success of our efforts is dependent on our ability to collectively commit to the Pathways to a pollution-free Pacific that this meeting will propose.

 

Actions at the regional level are reflective of what occurs at the national level and it is encouraging to see these efforts and advocacy galvanised at the global level. Pacific Island countries ownership of global climate and environment – related initiatives such as Fiji’s presidency of the COP 23 is a significant example, not just for the Pacific but for all of us from small island states. This region-wide call for urgent action on plastics, marine pollution and marine debris has the potential to be a catalyst for similar global action.

 

We, your CROP agencies, stand ready to support Members’ through the provision of expert scientific advice and technical support, capacity building and coherent and effective advocacy.

 

I thank you and I wish you well in your deliberations.