REMARKS: Pacific Islands Forum Statement to SIDS4

Remarks and Speeches
29 May 2024

Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4)
St Johns, Antigua and Barbuda

PIF Statement
Delivered by Director of Governance and Engagement Sione Tekiteki 
on behalf of Forum SG, Baron Waqa

Theme: Charting the course toward resilient prosperity

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen,

I am honoured to address you today on behalf of the incoming Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, who is due to start his tenure in early June. At the outset, we extend our condolences to the people of Papua New Guinea, and we extend our thoughts to the people of New Caledonia.

Our journey as Small Island Developing States in the Pacific has been marked by resilience and hope. Despite facing immense challenges like climate change and economic and environmental vulnerabilities, our spirit remains unbroken.

We look forward to working closely with all partners in taking forward the ABAS on behalf of our members. Global commitments like this are crucial as we navigate the next critical decade for our development and resilience.

The Pacific Islands Forum through the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific, embodies our collective strength and political will.  

Economic resilience is vital for our survival and prosperity. We are committed to enhancing inter-island connectivity, linking SIDS economies to regional markets and global supply chains.

We call on all development partners to support recovery efforts of Pacific states, including debt relief, in line with the April 2020 G20 decision and the global sovereign debt roundtable mechanism, and to enhance flexibility in development financing modalities.

Climate change remains the Pacific States greatest threat. We urge all countries to strengthen their Nationally Determined Contributions in line with the 1.5°C goal and to support the Pacific region in advancing and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. This requires mobilizing adequate resources, including finance, capacity, and appropriate technologies.

We emphasize the urgent need to operationalize and capitalize the new fund for loss and damage and call on development partners to support Pacific-owned solutions, including the capitalisation of the Pacific Resilience Facility (PRF).

Our unique biodiversity is fundamental to our livelihoods, culture, and identity. And we call on states to ratify the BBNJ and to advance negotiations on the new plastics agreement at the earliest.

We are committed to accelerating actions to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, addressing illegal, unreported, and unregulated  fishing, and reducing plastic pollution. We call on all states to support Pacific states in taking forward its position on the legal implications on sea level rise, specifically on the continuation of statehood and the permanency of Pacific States maritime zones.

Building resilience to disasters is critical. We seek financial and technical assistance to support our capacity for disaster risk reduction and multi-hazard risk governance.

As we look ahead, the Pacific region stands ready to lead with a unified voice and a shared vision. Our 2050 Strategy charts our course towards a resilient, prosperous, and peaceful Blue Pacific Continent. We seek broad support from all our partners to realize our vision and prioritize our collective priorities as articulated in the 2050 Strategy and its Implementation Plan.

Through the PIF Secretariat we are committed to working closely with our CROP agencies, regional and multi-lateral agencies, civil society organisations as well as the private sector to harness innovation, empower our communities and propel our Pacific Island Nations towards a future of resilience, prosperity and a thriving ocean.

I Thank you.--ENDS