Nauru chairs small island states leaders’ meeting

Nauru chairs small island states leaders’ meeting at 48th pacific island leaders’ forum in Samoa

The 27th Small Island States (SIS) leaders’ meeting is the first meeting to be held during the 48th Pacific Island Leaders forum that is taking place in Apia Samoa from 4-8 September.

In assuming the chairmanship for this year’s SIS leaders meeting on Monday 4 September, His Excellency President Baron Waqa acknowledged and thanked the outgoing Chair, and Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna.

In his opening address, President Waqa reflected on this year’s theme “The Blue Pacific – Our sea of islands – security through sustainable development, management and conservation.”

“We all know that the waters that surrounds us is what sustain our islands and our people. We owe it to our children and their children to ensure that their future is one in which they can enjoy with happiness and with abundant blessings. I look forward to working with you all on the theme over the course of this week.”

President Waqa emphasised the importance of leaders discussing and building solidarity on issues of common and special interest to SIS.

“As the smallest members of the Forum, we must stand together and be firm on what we believe is importance to our future.”

Following the meeting President Waqa spoke to the media and said that Fiji’s chairmanship of COP23 in Bonn Germany is good for the pacific and will strengthen the concerns of Smaller Island States.

“Well certainly it would.

“Already Fiji is doing quite a lot of work on getting the region together and discussing certain issues to present, not only the regional approach but also individual projects that each country would like to push forward.

“At the end there will be consensus on what the position of the Pacific is.”

In light of Nauru hosting the 49th Pacific Forum in 2018, President Waqa assured the media that his Government will be working with the PIFS to ensure media entry to Nauru.

Like all meetings throughout the week, the SIS leaders meeting was a closed door meeting with discussions including air services and air space, joint SIS proposals for the global climate fund (GCF), nuclear concerns in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), labour mobility and how it can be improved through identifying skills sets and visa requirements for the different borders and small island states.