PM Hu’akavameiliku highlights Tonga’s case at ‘Ocean Nations’ meeting”


Tongan Prime Minister, Hu’akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni, highlighted Tonga case on Day Two of the “Ocean Nations: An Indo-Pacific Islands Dialogue” at the United Nations in New York.

Hu’akavameiliku delivered the keynote address at the meeting, hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.

Speaking on the topic “Priorities, Challenges, and Interests of Tonga within the Pacific Community and its engagements with the World”, Hu’akavameiliku highlighted the existential threats of climate change and natural disasters, such as the recent Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano eruption and ensuing tsunami that destroyed the equivalent of over one-third of Tonga’s annual gross domestic product.

He said the financial, economic and social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic were detrimental to Tonga’s economic development, like for most of its Pacific Island neighbours.

Hu’akavameiliku elaborated on the challenges Tonga faces with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, our Ocean, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Transforming Education Summit, and the application of the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI). He said solutions needed to be found for these.

He also stressed how important the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI) is in efforts to gain ready access to concessional financing needed to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change.