Pacific Islands Forum

Outcry as China stops Pacific journalists questioning Wang Yi

The allegations raise serious press freedom concerns and alarm about the ability of Pacific journalists to do their jobs, particularly as the relationship between the region and China becomes closer.

Wang is midway through a marathon trip visiting eight countries in 10 days. He has held bilateral meetings in Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Samoa and Fiji to date, with trips to Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste to come.

China’s foreign minister tells Pacific leaders ‘don’t be too anxious’ after they reject regional security pact

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi is in the middle of a marathon tour of the region, visiting eight countries in 10 days, a trip that security experts have said represents a dramatic “uptick in tempo” of China’s push for influence in the region.

A pivotal moment: Pacific faces a choice over China that will shape it for decades

Officials representing Beijing have been working slowly and, for the most part, quietly in the small island nations that dot the vast Pacific Ocean – cementing allies, funding infrastructure projects, conducting concerted person-to-person diplomacy.

But this week Beijing upped the tempo.

Aust Aims To Reduce Carbon Emissions

She said this when addressing the Pacific Islands Forum on her first bilateral visit to Fiji.

“I understand that climate change is not an abstract threat, but an existential one.

Wong repeated a statement made at the Pacific Islands Forum Boe Declaration on Regional Security from 2018, “We reaffirm that climate change remains the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific.”

We will listen: Wong

“I’m deeply honoured to be here at the Pacific Islands Forum – the pre-eminent Pacific Institution, the heart of Pacific regionalism. For more than 50 years, the Forum has brought us together in the Pacific way. Through the Forum, Pacific nations have championed their interests on the international stage – and led international thinking on issues such as climate.”

Australia is a founding member of the Forum, a membership they treasure, said Wong.

Aust To Increase Development Aid

“We will increase Australia’s overseas development assistance to the pacific by $525 million over the next four years, working with you to recover from the pandemic.”

“I know that Pacific women have a key role to play in your recovery, and in your economic development,” added Wong.

“Societies work better, economies work better, communities work better, when we remove barriers to participation of women and girls, when all have an equal place in national life.

Puna set to go to heal Pacific rift

The five northern Pacific states, Palau, Nauru, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia, vowed early last year to pull out of the organisation.

They were angry their nominee for secretary general, Marshall Islands diplomat Gerald Zackios, had been overlooked in favour of Cook Islands Prime Minister Puna.

The spokesman for the FSM government said the Micronesian states have been given an undertaking by both New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Australia's Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne that Mr Puna is to step down by June.

PIF members discuss Fukushima treated nuclear wastewater with Japan

The Government of Japan committed to ongoing dialogue with Forum Members as a priority follow up to the PALM9 Summit in July. This followed Japan’s announcement in April of plans to begin discharge in 2023, for a period of up to 40 years. The announcement drew strong global response, including from the Forum Chair and Leaders.

In his opening comments at the third briefing on Tuesday afternoon, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Henry Puna noted the issues require “open and frank consultation” along with sustained dialogue at the political and technical level.

Kiribati withdraws from Pacific Islands Forum

The formal communication was made to the Government of Fiji as the depositary of the 2000 Agreement Establishing the Pacific Islands Forum. 

In a statement, the Kiribati Government said the decision to withdraw from the Pacific Islands Forum was premised on the selection of the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum which in essence must be made based on consensus in line with the Gentlemen’s Agreement on sub-regional rotation. 

Pacific Islands Forum marks 50th anniversary

The leaders of the Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, Tonga and Samoa together with Australia and New Zealand met in Wellington from 5th-7th August 1971. This was the first South Pacific Forum meeting.

At the time, the only regional organisation established was the South Pacific Commission which was created in 1947.

The leaders of the newly independent island nations understood the external influences that existed in that regional body, which included colonial powers. It was clear another forum was needed.