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PIF leaders meeting ends in unity

The Pacific has launched the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, the document which will guide the region for the next three decades to address present and future challenges of its people.

The document deals with how the region can collectively deal with climate change, climate financing, security and trade deals.

According to the Forum chair and Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama the new regional blueprint is a true reflection of what defines the Pacific people.

He said the 2050 Strategy was about what was common in all Pacific nations, and focuses on people.

“It is our people who have sent us here to deliberate on their behalf and we owe them strategic response to their greatest challenges especially our youth, our children and grandchildren, who will inherit this strategy and our collective ambitions,” he said.

Mr Bainimarama said the climate crisis, socio-economic development challenges, slow economic growth and geopolitical competition were major issues faced by the region.

“Indeed, unity was the overriding focus of our discussions together with the 2050 Strategy and the Review of the Regional Architecture,” he said.

New Zealand PM Jacinda Arden shakes hand with Solomon Islands PM Manasseh Sogovare. Pic- PIFS

“Reflecting on 50 years of regionalism this morning, I and my colleague Forum Leaders recognized that we are in unprecedented times and this collective is at a critical juncture in its history.

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“As we face down a multitude of complex challenges across the region, we recognise our strength in numbers. It is without any doubt that we stand our best chance to address these common challenges together as a family.”

Forum secretary general Henry Puna. Pic- PIFS

Pacific leaders recognised that political will and leadership will be integral to the achievement of the visions outlined in the 2050 strategy.

The strategy is set to become the overarching blueprint to advance Pacific regionalism for the next three decades.

In the coming weeks, officials will begin work on an implementation plan for the political commitment.

The 36-page document outlines ten commitments across seven interconnected areas.

Australian PM Anthony Albanese with Fijian PM Voreqe Bainimarama. Pic- PIFS

These include political leadership and regionalism, people-centered development, peace and security, resource and economic development, climate change and disasters, ocean and environment, and technology and connectivity.

Forum secretary-general Henry Puna said the new plan is about Pacific regionalism. He said this meeting was challenging but having achieved consensus on the 2050 Strategy showed the way the Pacific was headed.

“It is vital that the 2050 Strategy guide our collective activities and actions as we address our challenges and exploit our strengths and our opportunities,” Mr Puna said.

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