Pacific Forum Secretary-General offers support

The new Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Henry Puna has called for reflection and solidarity across the Pacific Islands Forum for the people of Samoa, as the culmination of post-election uncertainty makes headlines. 

Mr. Puna said that the Forum family is closely following the developments on the ground in Samoa and encourages all parties to pursue peaceful means to resolve their difficulties. 

"The Forum also stands ready to offer support and help if requested,” he said in a statement released on Tuesday. 

He also asked each of  the  Member nations to keep the people of Samoa in our thoughts and prayers at this time "knowing that Samoa’s sovereign process and the world-renowned Fa’a Samoa will prevail at this critical moment in their history.” 

He said he was coming into his new role as Secretary-General with an open mind, confidence in his team, and an emphatic focus on the Forum’s values of regionalism.

Secretary-General Puna said:

“Our Blue Pacific Continent is at its best and its strongest when our member nations work together as a family, and we must continue to do all we can to protect that strength,” he said. 

The new Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Henry Puna has called for a moment of reflection and solidarity across the Pacific Islands Forum for the people of Samoa, where post-election events are making global headlines. 

This was highlighted in a statement issued by Pacific Islands Forum.

Mr. Puna said that the Forum family is closely following the developments on the ground in Samoa and encourages all parties to pursue peaceful means to resolve their difficulties. "The Forum also stands ready to offer support and help if requested,” he said.

He also asked each of  the  Member nations to keep the people of Samoa in our thoughts and prayers at this time, "knowing that Samoa’s sovereign process and the world-renowned Fa’a Samoa will prevail at this critical moment in their history.” 

Furthermore, he says  that he is coming into the role with an open mind, confidence in his team, and an emphatic focus on the Forum family and values of regionalism.The  Secretary General Puna said, “our Blue Pacific Continent is at its best and its strongest when our member nations work together as a family, and we must continue to do all we can to protect that strength.”Noting the ongoing high-level political dialogue with the Micronesia Presidents’ Summit on notice of withdrawal from the Forum, SG Puna said that a political dialogue process is underway “and is symbolic of our Pacific way of talanoa and amicable resolution of differences. Let us await the outcome of that process. As the Forum Secretariat, we will continue to serve all Members and I look forward to that ongoing engagement across our Forum family.”

“It is a matter of looking after each other and supporting each other when challenges arise,” he said. “If one succeeds, we all succeed, and if one fails, it’s a shared failure. I am committed to working with all our Member nations to work towards strengthening the solidarity of our Forum family.”

As Forum Secretary General, Mr. Puna will serve as the Pacific Ocean Commissioner.

 This responsibility I take very seriously,” he said. 

The Forum Secretary-General also serves as permanent chair of the Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific, a role held by Secretaries-General since 1995.

Mr. Puna reaffirmed the importance of maintaining strong collective efforts to progress regional priorities including the development of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Continent, COVID-19, climate change, fisheries, maritime boundaries and nuclear legacy issues.

The Forum will also continue to engage with Members and Partners in preparation for the global launch of the Pacific Resilience Facility later this year.

He paid tribute to former Secretary General of the Forum, Dame Meg Taylor, who will be returning to Papua New Guinea once international travel resumes.

“I must honour the progress which my predecessor Dame Meg Taylor has achieved in her time at the helm, and through the pandemic,” Mr. Puna said, 

“Her contribution and achievements during her tenure have my warmest respect, and speak to her passion for the founding values of the Pacific Islands Forum.”

 

 

 




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