Pacific leaders are aware that the region is being used as a strategic space for power-plays by powerful countries like China, Australia and the United States.
The narrative amongst global leaders is that the region has nothing to gain in the process however, Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown believes regional leaders know what’s going on and are in full control.
“We’re being told by many outsiders that the Pacific region is a hotbed of geopolitical competition, that the fate of the Pacific region is under threat, and that we are but pawns in the grand game of international geopolitics and the global economy. Well, I disagree with these views and our history tells us otherwise. “
Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Henry Puna said he is excited to see that development attention has shifted to the region.
“Yeah, we’ll let the big boys play their games, but we know what we want and what is important is that we maintain our solidarity and our unity, and that is what I love to see come true, particularly in these couple of days of discussion.”
Puna said now is the time to strengthen people-to-people connections, to take advantage of the growing interest in the region and share in the opportunities that it offers.
“We have to remain together and stay strong and push back against those who want to determine what is good for us.”
Most Pacific Islands Forum leaders are currently in Suva for a ‘Talanoa’ session this week
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS