Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare this morning has received a courtesy call from the Prime Minister of Cook Islands, honorable Mark Brown.
PM Sogavare’s counterpart PM Brown will be in Honiara for three days to witness Cook Islands athletes competing in various sports events and later to travel to Dubai to attend the COP28.
As part of his short stay in Honiara, the Cook Islands Prime Minister paid a courtesy call on PM Sogavare to, amongst other things, brief our PM on the outcomes of the recent Pacific Island Forum Leaders meeting in Cook Islands.
Prior to delving into matters of PIF, PM Brown expressed sincere appreciation and deep acknowledgement to Solomon Islands for being a great host to Cook Islands athletes.
PM Brown further expressed his personal surprise to the standard of sports facilities used for the Games.
The Cook Islands Prime Minister added that Solomon Islands is blessed with these international standard facilities and that they will serve to groom more sportsmen and women in the future.
Issues discussed and agreed on by PIF leaders included 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent- Implementation Plan and Review of the Regional Architecture, climate change and resilience, nuclear and legacy issues, gender equality, fisheries and economic development.
Also included in the discussions by the PIF leaders was the PIF representation in the United States of America.
The Cook Islands PM revealed the conclusions and future steps of the PIF, the leaders have endorsed the next General Secretary is Baron Waqa of Nauru.
PM Brown further added that the leaders concluded with two endorsements for the next meeting venues of the PIF. The 53rd PIF will be held in Tonga in 2024 and Solomon Islands to host the 54th PIF in 2025.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in response, welcomed his Cook Islands counterpart to the country.
PM Sogavare acknowledged PM Brown’s arrival in the country and praised his counterpart for holding the chairmanship role of the PIF. PM Sogavare added that PM Brown’s decision to provide update on the conclusions of PIF leaders meeting in Cook Islands is a further demonstration of the true Pacific way of ‘tok-stori’ (talanoa) on matters pertinent to PIF member countries.
PM Sogavare expressed Solomon Islands support for the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Communique, and the continuous support for the implementation of the 2050 strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.
The Prime Minister stated that Solomon Islands is aware of the array of interests by major powers in the Pacific region and while challenges come with it, there are opportunities as well for Pacific Forum countries to advance their development needs in collaborations with traditional and new partners.
PM Sogavare expressed Solomon Islands position on climate change, especially climate financing for resilience and mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change.
Our Prime Minister further welcomed other endorsements by PIF leaders which include the Pacific Resilience Facility and Climate Mobility Framework.
The country’s stance on Alps- Treated Water Fukushima issue, remains the same where the country expressed reservations about Japan’s decision to discharge nuclear waste- water.
PM Sogavare added that as coastal countries Solomon Islands is concerned about the acidity levels in our oceans which has reached critical threshold.
He expressed Solomon Islands acknowledgement on the inroad developments on maximizing the region’s fisheries resources, but also call for “…long- term solutions to the distribution that reflects the monitoring and proper management of the harvesting of this important resource”.
Solomon Islands encourages effort to strengthen regional unity and solidarity. Expressing that the Suva agreement and proposed review of the Regional Architecture will work to that direction to strengthen regional cooperation.
In his closing remarks, PM Sogavare wished the Cook Islands sporting contingent all the best in their remaining games and wished his counterpart a warm Solomon Islands hospitality as he attends the 2023 Pacific Games.