Securing the future of our Blue Pacific identity and protecting our sovereignty and jurisdiction over our marine resources is our duty, Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare MP, reminded leaders during the Korea-Pacific Islands Summit in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Prime Minister Sogavare stated that with a sense of urgency, Pacific Island countries enter a runaway climate change crisis, one that defines our future.
Conflicts, race in modernization of militaries, weapons of mass destruction, power politics and geopolitical posturing add to the predicament.
The Prime Minister said, Solomon Islands will not shy away from its duty to fight for a prosperous and united Pacific.
PM Sogavare clearly warn, policies or groups intended to target third country will NOT be supported by Solomon Islands.
“Solomon Islands maintains its position- it is not supporting any policy or groups that targets third country. We must remain focus on the important tasks at hand including addressing the impacts of climate change, eradicating poverty and construct bridges of hope with partners who are willing to help build a stable, resilient and prosperous Pacific.”
He expressed, multilateralism is needed to prevent, halt and reverse the risks and threats against our wellbeing…. “We must replace confrontation with dialogue, unilateralism with cooperation and military solutions with diplomacy to ensure those on the fringes of the international system in the Pacific are meaningfully integrated into the global system.”
On the Summit theme, “Navigating towards Co-Prosperity: Strengthening Cooperation with the Blue Pacific,” Solomon Islands is of the view that an approach of building national capacity in protecting our resources from Illegal Unreported and Unregulated fishing needs to be prioritized over gun boat diplomacy…… “Providing the tools, digital technology and connectivity is needed to convert our resources potential to prosperity.”
Prime Minister Sogavare was straight-out on the issue of nuclear weapons and radioactive material.
“We also call for the elimination of all nuclear weapons and radioactive material used militarily.”
Under the 1985 Rarotonga Treaty, the region is a nuclear free zone. However, with our nuclear legacy, dumping of any radioactive material or waste into the ocean threatens the bounty and beauty of our ocean space, land and territory.
He underlines, the region discourages any partner from taking such a course of action.
Prime Minister Sogavare passionately expressed, heritage of our people and their children must be enjoyed in perpetuity.
Forward planning, PM Sogavare said, the region’s sole interest to address peace and stability is ‘development agenda.’
Further, the 2050 Blue Pacific Strategy, is a pledge to protect the ocean, preserve the integrity of the natural systems and protect our maritime claims and work with all in combating activities that degrade, pollute, overexploit, or undermine our ocean and natural environment or our territory.
Prime Minister Sogavare has acknowledged Korea’s contribution in assisting Solomon Islands build its national capacity and for providing much needed investment that improves our people’s livelihood. The Prime Minister commended K-Water investment in Tina Hydro. It will eventually reduce electricity cost and attract investors. Electricity cost in Solomon Islands is currently one of the highest in the world.
He thank Korea for the construction of the country’s fisheries school and Korea’s support to the 2023 Pacific Games to be hosted in Solomon Islands later in November this year.
Prime Minister Sogavare stated, Korea and Solomon Islands have been friends for the last 44 years. It is also a long-standing Pacific Islands Forum dialogue partner for the last 28 years.
He said, Solomon Islands is indebted to the Republic of Korea for the opportunity to renew the SI-ROK friendship and deepen meaningful cooperation through this summit. Ends///.
-PM Press Sec