SUVA (FIJI GOVT) — “Your Secretariat stands prepared and ready to work with you and your government. We have every confidence that with solidarity and resolve, you will lead us to the realisation of our collective aspirations as people of the Blue Pacific.”
This was the assurance delivered by the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), Henry Puna at the Pacific traditional welcome ceremony accorded to the Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum and Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Wednesday evening.
Puna said PM Rabuka’s leadership comes at the most crucial time as the PIF will look to his leadership towards the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific, to bridge and heal Pacific family relations, and the transition of the Forum towards the leadership of its incoming Chair – the Cook Islands.
“You well understand that we are at a juncture where amongst other things, climate change threatens our very survival, multilateralism is failing, and geopolitical competition in our region seeks to divide us. But history has shown that the Pacific and the Forum has been at its best in moments of challenge. We can only see good things ahead with you at the helm,” Secretary General Puna stated.
Prime Minister Rabuka acknowledged the welcome ceremony performed for him and expressed his gratitude for the congratulatory remarks conveyed to him by the respective heads of governments in the Pacific.
“We are a village; we are a family. Whether we can follow the languages and the dialects or not, our spirits communicate. I can only reciprocate the honour by serving the Pacific Islands Forum in the remaining term, and continue as a member after I, as Prime Minister hand over to my successor.”
“I am looking forward to contributing to developing the Forum. We pay our respects to the leaders of the past and we owe it to them to forge this unity and work forward from here. I call on all of you and Government leaders in the Pacific to come together and forge forward, move forward in unity,” PM Rabuka stated.
PM Rabuka also assured the Forum that the Government he leads while he is Chair and after, will be committed to the PIF’s collective goals and missions and the one vision for a great united Pacific region.
The traditional welcome ceremony was performed by Tongan Community in Fiji…. PACNEWS