Pacific Islands Forum Leaders will meet with the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, in the margins of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly.
The meeting will be held virtually 24 September 2021 and recommences the annual meeting after it was postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Usually a face-to-face session, the meeting will give Forum Leaders the opportunity to raise the most urgent issues facing the Blue Pacific, directly with the UN Chief.
Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Henry Puna, was pleased that the Forum could secure the meeting amid ongoing COVID-19 disruptions to the regular UNGA format.
“It is immensely significant. During the UN Secretary-General’s busiest and most influential week of the year, we will have his full attention to discuss matters important to our Blue Pacific. It is symbolic of the Secretary-General’s commitment to our region, and we must capitalise on this platform to amplify our messages to the global community. Pacific priorities are global priorities,”.
The meeting is expected to cover a range of key Forum priorities, including climate change, oceans and the Forum Leaders’ Declaration on preserving maritime zones in the face of Climate change-related sea-level rise, COVID-19 and the state of global and Pacific multilateralism. The meeting will be a crucial platform as Forum Members look to gain momentum into a busy upcoming international calendar of events, including COP 26.
The Forum and UN enjoy a strong partnership, one that is reaffirmed by this year’s General Assembly resolution that seeks to enhance cooperation between the two organisations.
Forum Leaders will also be delivering national statements at the 76th general debate this year, following on from the 51st Forum Leaders meeting in August 2021 where they progressed significant commitments to collectively securing the future of the Blue Pacific.