PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has announced that the dates for the Pacific Games 2023 has been moved from 29th July 2023 to 19th of November through to 2nd of December 2023.
The Prime Minister in a special address today said the decision came about following a meeting by the Executive Board of the Pacific Games Council at its meeting on Friday 2nd of July 2021.
“Today, I am pleased to announce to you, both as your Prime Minister and as the Minister responsible for the successful delivery of the 2023 Pacific Games, that the Executive Board of the Pacific Games Council at its meeting on Friday 2nd of July 2021, considered and approved the request from Solomon Islands to move the dates for the 2023 Pacific Games from 16 – 29 July 2023 to 19th of November to 2nd of December 2023,” he said.
The Prime Minister in his address conveyed his sincere appreciation to the Executive Board of the Pacific Games Council, the 22 member Pacific Games Associations, the 24 Oceania Federations for the sports on the Games program, for the kindred spirit demonstrated by the members of the Pacific family to allow the deferment of the 2023 Pacific Games by 4 months.
He said this short delay would also enable Solomon Islands to complete the construction of all the facilities it requires to successfully host the 2023 Pacific Games.
Prime Minister Sogavare said in March this year the National Hosting Authority and the Solomon Islands Pacific Games Association, the host PGA for the 2023 Pacific Games submitted a Paper to Cabinet.
This he said is to seek the Government’s support to their request to the Executive Board of the Pacific Games Council, for its favourable consideration to delay the hosting of the 2023 Pacific Games.
He said even the Olympic Games was delayed by one full year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The reason for their request is simply that delays forced upon us, as the host nation by the COVID-19 pandemic had undermined our ability to complete the construction of all the facilities we require to successfully host the Games,” the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Sogavare said Cabinet had no hesitation in supporting the request by the NHA and the Solomon Islands PGA to the Executive Board of the Pacific Games Council.
The Prime Minister said Cabinet also considered an alternative date to host the Games if the Executive Board of the Pacific Games Council could not approve the November date that was initially requested by Solomon Islands, although the alternative date was not its preference.
“The Executive Board in its wisdom and after consultations with the 22 member Pacific Games Associations and the 24 Oceania Federations for the sports on the Games program approved the request,” he said.
The Prime Minister in the meantime, called on the NHA and the Host PGA to make the best use of the 4 months reprieve to ensure that all the facilities for the 2023 Pacific Games are completed and tested.
“I urge the NHA and Host PGA to make sure all the operational arrangements, schedules, and flow of events anticipated during the games are tested before the Games open on 19th November 2023,” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare also called on all key development partners assisting Solomon Islands on the 2023 Pacific Games, to maintain the existing completion dates.