Blue Pacific Foreign Ministers Meet in New York

By Alexander Rheeney 23 September 2022, 10:43PM

Further support for the region's Pacific Climate Change Centre in Apia, Samoa was among a number of initiatives discussed by Partners in the Blue Pacific Foreign Ministers Meeting on Thursday.

The meeting in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly was held between the United States, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and heads of government from Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu as well as Canada, France, Germany, India, Republic of Korea, the Pacific Islands Forum, and the European Union in their observing capacity.

According to a statement released by the U.S. State Department late Friday evening (Samoa local time), Ministers and representatives of Partners in the Blue Pacific members and observers and Pacific Ministers met to discuss progress in implementing Partners in the Blue Pacific.

The meeting came on the back of a briefing by Partners in the Blue Pacific with Members of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) at a senior officials’ level.

"Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States welcomed Germany and Canada’s increased focus and commitment to genuine partnership with the Pacific and their announcement of intent to join the Partners in the Blue Pacific," reads the State Department's statement. 

"Partners reinforced that this inclusive, informal mechanism will be guided by the PIF’s 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent and existing Pacific regional architecture. 

"This included ongoing engagement and consultation with the PIF and respect for the concept of Pacific regionalism and related regional mechanisms, sovereignty, transparency, accountability, and we are committed to being led and guided by the Pacific islands."

According to the State Department, six prospective "lines of effort" and initial projects for PBP were discussed, aligned with the thematic areas of the Forum’s 2050 Strategy. Participants agreed to further dialogue ahead of finalising the list. 

The list of the six areas were (1) climate change resilience, adaptation, and disasters (2) secure and resilient technology and connectivity (3) protection of the ocean and environment (4) people centered development (5) resources and economic development and (6) political leadership and regionalism.

The Participants also discussed some prospective initiatives that could be considered initially under the informal, inclusive Partners in the Blue Pacific. These included: Pacific humanitarian warehousing to preposition humanitarian and emergency supplies as agreed by PIF Ministers at the inaugural Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction Ministers Meeting in Nadi; an annual Pacific cyber capacity conference; further support to the Pacific Climate Change Centre in Samoa; and support to access climate finance. 

By Alexander Rheeney 23 September 2022, 10:43PM
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