Sunday, September 06, 2015

Welcome Pacific leaders!

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has welcomed the arrival of the leaders of the region to attend the Pacific Island Forum this week in Port Moresby.
With several Leaders already in Port Moresby, a ceremonial welcome will be held on Tuesday night then leaders will get to work on Wednesday morning with an agenda that includes issues such as dealing with climate change, enhancing disaster preparedness and reducing cervical cancer in Pacific Island women.
O'Neill said the global economy faced the most uncertain period in recent history making this a particularly important summit for the region.
"The global economy is under pressure and we are seeing an increase in climate induced disasters, so this is a time when countries of like-mind must work together," he said.
"When we look around the Asia-Pacific economy we see a slowdown in major markets and uncertainty in commodities.
"As a region the Pacific will come together as partners to join our collective strengths.
"We have tremendous resources across our island nations and we need to work together to ensure that we get the best market advantage now and into the future."
O'Neill said enhancing preparedness for disasters, particularly disasters that occured as a consequence of climate change, would be an important topic of discussion between leaders.
"In our region we are seeing more climate related disasters.  This includes weather patterns such as tropical storms and flooding in one part of the year then droughts and frost in other months.
"Our climate is more unpredictable than ever before and we must prepare for this to continue and be ready for worst case scenarios.
"We in the Pacific did not cause climate change, but we suffer because of it.  As a region we must work together to build our collective capacity to be ready for these weather problems."
The Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' Meeting will take place this week in Port Moresby with a reception on Tuesday night and leaders' retreats on Wednesday and Thursday.  Other meetings include the meeting of small island states on Monday and the post-forum dialogue on Friday.

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