Ministers from Governments and Ministries across the region will be in Suva this week for the second Pacific Islands Forum Women Leaders meeting to be held from 31 August -01 September 2023.

Centered around the meeting theme Our Pacific Way: Strengthened Commitment to Gender Equality, Equity and Social Inclusion.

The meeting will be chaired by Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown, Cook Islands Minister for Health, Parliamentary Services, Agriculture, Cook Islands National Superannuation, and Internal Affairs.

Pacific Ministers will consider opportunities for mainstreaming gender equality and social inclusion across key regional initiatives in line with the vision of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.

A key component of the meeting will be the tabling of the revitalised Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration (PLGED). The Forum Secretariat has carried out consultations for the PLGED with all 18 Members and will present the revitalised PLGED to the Women Leaders meeting for their consideration.

“Through consultations across the Pacific to revitalise the Pacific Forum Leaders declaration since 2012, one thing has been made very clear – we need action, action, and more action,” said Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Henry Puna.

“I was the Cooks Islands Prime Minister and Forum Chair when Leaders then committed to the PLGED. While there has been progress to advance gender equality since 2012, more needs to be done. It’s time to level up and walk the talk, particularly if we are to achieve the vision and aspirations set out in the 2050 Strategy.

The Meeting will focus on key issues relating to gender equality and social inclusion which are espoused in the values of the 2050 Strategy, and I look forward to the deliberations on our PLGED, which is a critical instrument to accelerate gender equality in our Blue Pacific,” SG Puna added.

Ministers will also discuss strategic advocacy and awareness positions for the region, to strengthen engagement for gender equality and social inclusion actions.

Civil society organisations (CSOs) will also have the opportunity to dialogue with the Ministers and share outcomes from the recently convened regional CSO Forum. In addition, there will be an intergenerational dialogue between the leaders and youth representatives.

Outcomes from this meeting will be conveyed to the PIF Leaders along with a revitalised PLGED for endorsement when they meet in Cook Islands from 06-10 November 2023.