Pacific News Minute: Pacific leaders affirm plans, discuss regional issues
Next week, President Biden will be hosting 12 Pacific Island leaders in Washington, D.C. That follows a bigger regional conference last week in Honolulu — hosted by the Pacific Islands Development Program at the East-West Center.
The theme of the 12th Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders was “Puʻuhonua: The Pacific Way Forward.”
David Panuelo, president of the Federated States of Micronesia, chaired three days of meetings, dialogue and side events involving 16 Pacific Island nations and territories.
The officials increased commitments to advancing the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.
The plan guides how Pacific Island countries will deal with climate change, economic development, technology, and peace and security in the coming decades.
Pacific leaders also spoke with officials from other countries including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and the United States.
Topics ranged from industry diversification to geopolitics in the context of China in the Pacific.
Earlier this year, the Solomon Islands signed a security pact with Beijing.
U.S. and Western allies are concerned it could lead to a Chinese naval base being built less than 1,200 miles off Australia’s northeast coast.
An official from the Solomons has been invited to attend next week’s two-day summit in Washington.