US President Joe Biden’s meeting with Pacific Island leaders including Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama closed today with the release of a joint statement in which the leaders committed to working together in 11 areas with a view to enhancing their partnership to address mounting challenges including the climate crisis.
In addition to committing to tackle the climate crisis together, the leaders resolved to strengthen their partnership, bolster Pacific regionalism, enhance their cooperation to advance economic growth and sustainable development in the Pacific, support each other to better prepare and respond to natural disasters, maintain peace and security across the Pacific continent, and work together in addressing COVID-19 concerns and other health-related issues including NCDs.
Acknowledging the ties between their people, the leaders committed to identifying priority areas that would strengthen it. The leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to comprehensively address the legacies of conflict and the promotion of nuclear nonproliferation. The leaders also recognised that the implementation of the partnership would be in accordance and guided by mutual respect, transparency, and accountability. To this end, the leaders committed to convening regular meetings including at the officials’ level to ensure their partnership continues to deliver practical results for their people and the world.
The US-Pacific Islands Summit, the first of its kind, was held at the White House in Washington DC from 28-29 September 2022.
The other Pacific Island leaders in attendance included Prime Minister Mark Brown of Cook Islands, President David W. Panuelo of the Federated States of Micronesia, President Edouard Fritch of the Government of French Polynesia, Charge d’Affaires Josie-Ann Dongobir of the Republic of Nauru, President Louis Mapou of the Government of New Caledonia, President Surangel S. Whipps, Jr. of the Republic of Palau, Prime Minister James Marape of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, President David Kabua of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Prime Minister Fiamē Naomi Mata’afa of the Independent State of Samoa, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare of Solomon Islands, Prime Minister Siaosi ‘Ofakivahafolau Sovaleni of the Kingdom of Tonga, Prime Minister Kausea Natano of Tuvalu, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. of the United States of America and Ambassador Odo Tevi of the Republic of Vanuatu.