The Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Henry Puna, will undertake his first official mission to the Cook Islands this week as part of the Forum high-level consultations which have seen him, most recently, in Samoa and Australia.

The Cook Islands mission will provide an opportunity for in-depth discussions on the progress of current and emerging regional priorities.

Like his other high-level consultations, the visit will see the Secretary General engaging with and across a wide spectrum of national stakeholder leaders within government, civil society, and the private sector. The national visits allow for the specific views of member countries to be heard in frank, discussions, shaping and contributing to regional positions.

SG Puna will also address the Cook Islands Parliament on 27 June 2023.

“As a former member of parliament, I am grateful for the opportunity to take the floor and convey my deep appreciation and respect to the Government and people of the Cook Islands for their continued support of Pacific regionalism – particularly as Chair and Host of the upcoming 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting,” he said.

As the region pivots to preparations for the Leaders Meeting in Rarotonga, SG Puna says “the theme that the Cook Islands has chosen is an apt one, especially in this geostrategic landscape. Partnerships will be crucial to the success of our 2050 Strategy, and it is important that our development partners are responding to our collective priorities and advancing our mutual interests.” He further reaffirmed the Secretariat’s support to the Forum Chair, Prime Minister Brown, and his team as the momentum builds towards the 52ndForum Leaders Meeting, this November in Rarotonga,” he said.

SG Puna’s High-Level Consultations will run from 27 – 30 June 2023.