Cook Islands will be ready to host Forum Leaders meeting in November: PM Brown


By Pita Ligaiula in Seoul

Cook Islands Prime Minister and Forum Chair Mark Brown says preparation are well underway for the upcoming Forum Leaders meeting in November.

Brown told Pacific journalists in Seoul, the Forum Leaders Meeting is a significant event for the Cook Islands and the region.

“All I can say is preparations are underway. We are ready to host and we’re looking forward to having some really good outcomes from the meeting that we’re going to be hosting in November.

“The team has been working flat out since Cook Islands was confirmed in February to be the hosts. We’ve got a short amount of time, but I am very confident that the Forum Leaders meeting we’re aiming for some very good outcomes that everyone should be happy with,” PM Brown said in Seoul.

The 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting (PIFLM52) will be held from 06 – 10 November in Rarotonga with the theme of “Our Voices, Our Choices, Our Pacific Way: Promote, Partner, Prosper.”

“I think the theme reflects the interest of growing interest in our region. It’s about listening to what we say and what we decide is best for our region. We are seeing growing interest from countries like the U.S, India now Korea, hosting summits for Leaders at very high level. The remainder of our theme is to promote, partner, prosper.

He also said many governments in the region are facing challenges after COVID-19.

“It’s an area of great concern to many of our people that our governments are now having to try and find solutions for. So, for us, some of our countries have graduated into high income status.

“It’s looking at partnerships to see how they can meet development goals and address things like high cost of living as a result of events occurring on the other side of the world, in Russia, Ukraine, said the Forum Chair.

Meanwhile, Cook Islands Prime Minister says the island nation has not decided which country it will support to host the 2030 World Expo.

“Well, we know that both Korea and Saudi Arabia are putting in very strong bids to host the expo. We have applied to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) to enable us to vote.

“For the Cook Islands we will take very good careful consideration and we will make our determination towards November when the votes will be cast. But each country is able to choose who they will support when it comes down to voting,” PM Brown said.

Busan in Korea is competing with Rome in Italy, Riyadh in Saudi Arabia and Odesa in Ukraine to host the World expo in 2030.