As the 51st Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting concluded today, the Pacific Leaders pledged their commitment to strengthen regional solidarity for achieving an inclusive, resilient and sustainable Pacific. During the Leaders Retreat held at the Forum Secretariat today, the leaders endorsed the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.

This was confirmed by the PIF Chair and Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama while speaking at the press conference to announce the outcomes of the 51st PIF Leaders Meeting.

Prime Minister Bainimarama said unity was the overriding focus of the Leaders discussions today together with the 2050 Strategy and the Review of the Regional Architecture.

“Today, 11 months following Fiji’s assumption of this role, I am pleased to announce that we are making positive strides towards restoring the solidarity of our Forum Family. Reflecting on 50 years of regionalism this morning, I and my colleague Forum Leaders recognized that we are in unprecedented times and this collective is at a critical juncture in its history.

“As we face down a multitude of complex challenges across the region, we recognise our strength in numbers. It is without any doubt that we stand our best chance to address these common challenges together as a family. “In turning to the 2050 Strategy – Leaders recognized that political will and leadership will be integral to the achievement of our vision as outlined in the 2050 strategy. The strategy will be our overarching blueprint to advance Pacific regionalism for the next three decades. In the coming weeks, our officials will begin work on an implementation plan for this visionary political commitment.”

The PIF Chair said that leaders had also discussed the position taken by the Government of the Republic of Kiribati.

“I had the pleasure of speaking with President Maamau this afternoon, I have wished him and his people a wonderful national day, and reaffirmed with him our collective agreement to continue to dialogue with Kiribati to find a resolution to this impasse. I will continue to work in the coming weeks and months together with Forum Leaders and the Secretary General on this matter – we will spare no efforts in this regard.”

Prime Minister Bainimarama thanked Secretary General Henry Puna and Prime Minister Mark Brown and the Government of the Cook Islands for their efforts to work with the Forum to continue to hold the solidarity of the Forum Family.

“I also thank Prime Minister Mata’afa of Samoa and Prime Minister Brown for joining me in Suva to meet with the Micronesian Presidents in early June. This meeting resulted in a proposal for the way forward as outlined in the Suva Agreement.

“I also acknowledge in particular the Government of Australia for its support to this process – the success of these discussions has been based on the possibility of in-person discussions and talanoa in our own Pacific Way. Leaders also considered and endorsed decisions relating to climate action and nuclear issues and noted updates on the regional fisheries developments and the Forum Ministerial Committee to New Caledonia.”