REMARKS: PIF SG Henry Puna at the Teieniwa Talanoa Event on Pacific Unity Against Corruption

Remarks and Speeches
05 February 2024

Delivered by the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum

At the Teieniwa Talanoa Event on Pacific Unity Against Corruption

05 February 2024. Suva, Fiji


To our United Nations anti-corruption partners, PINA board members and executive, and regional partners and invited speakers here today, Kia Orana, Ni sa bula Vinaka, and warm Pacific greetings.

Thank you for joining us today.

It’s an important aspect of regionalism that we take the time to remember the milestone moments and declarations which have shaped our nations, and this region. So I’m pleased to welcome you all in remembering an important step forward for collective unity towards a mandate of accountability and transparency in the best interest of our Pacific people.

On the 5th of February 2020, as the then Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, I was part of a Pacific-wide anti-corruption meeting in Tarawa, chaired by President Taneti Mamau.

In our discussions we kept coming back to the one of the core challenges confronting regional security and solidarity – indeed, the very future of our Blue Pacific.

Corruption in all its forms and across all parts of our communities has beset the governance and government agenda from the founding days of our nations, threatening peace and security, unity, and rule of law.

We had the Biketawa and Boe declarations in mind, and global anti-corruption commitments to also guide us. We ended our two-day session on a high note, endorsing an exciting vision for ways to achieve a Pacific free of corruption.

A region where integrity, transparency and good governance are reaping benefits for all our people, across all our islands.

This is the vision of Teieniwa.

By February 2021, all Forum leaders endorsed the Vision – a testament to unity for national and regional benefits that relies on all parts of a nation to ensure democratic, inclusive and sustainable values are enjoyed by all.

People, sustainable development, and political will are key tenets of our leader’s vision and commitment to this region. At their latest Forum meeting in the Cook Islands, our Pacific leaders also identified and launched Blue Pacific Partnerships for Prosperity to help catalyse action and change for a better world.

Here in 2024, as the countdown towards the 2030 Sustainable development Goals continues, we know the report card on achieving the goals is showing there is still work to do.

We can all do more, and indeed, there has been progress. Not just from our governments, but from the partners in the room today. Our media, our youth, our global partners within the UN, and our regional family of Pacific organisations.

The Forum team like all other Pacific regional organisations, is in the early stages of implementing the Pacific 2050 strategy.

As we roll out our workplans for 2024 and the next five years, we know the Teieniwa Vision provides some key opportunities for linking good governance to a Pacific that is truly Peaceful, truly resilient, and secure.

And as we are doing today, the conversations and awareness must continue to inform and guide the values for a better Pacific Way – where there is a place for all of us, and where no one is left behind.

I welcome you all to Teieniwa Talanoa. May we continue the conversations that shed light and prompt action for a secure, safe, and corruption free Pacific. I thank you.