Pacific Islands Forum Troika leaders are meeting in Suva for the first time Friday.

The Troika leaders include Cook Islands Prime Minister and Forum Chair, Mark Brown, former Forum chair and Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka and incoming Forum Chair, Tongan Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni.

Prime Minister Brown told journalists the three leaders will discuss how the Forum Troika mechanism can better serve regional solidarity and collective strength to secure the future the Blue Pacific continent.

“As we look to operationalise the Troika arrangement – for those who may not be aware, this is the group of leaders comprising of the incoming chair, immediate past chair and the incoming future chair – which will be a mechanism to provide support to the current chair, but also to provide continuity to the priorities ahead of us,” PM Brown said.

Meanwhile, Fiji’s deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Biman Prasad says the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) addressed some of the fundamental issues affecting the region such as economic growth, regional integration and climate financing.

“We are very confident that under the chairmanship of Prime Minister of Cook Islands and the Chair of the Forum, Mark Brown, some of these initiatives will see action and fruition in a very short period of time,” Prasad said.

“We are still transitioning from the onslaught of COVID-19 and the economic contraction that many countries in the region suffered, Prasad said during a press conference at the Forum Secretariat Thursday.

He said some countries are doing better than the others, but on average all countries are recovering well and would see growth restored to pre-COVID levels sooner rather than later.

PM Brown said Ministers also discussed climate finance opportunities that are important for the seven countries that need increased climate action to address some of their concerns.