With the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting just around two weeks away, Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown says they have received confirmation from agencies, dialogue partners and leaders who will be attending.

The 2023 Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting will be held from November 06-10 in Rarotonga and Aitutaki.

PM Brown, who is also the Forum chair, attended the 43rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in September, where he derived ideas for hosting the Forum Meeting in the Cook Islands.

“The beauty of attending the ASEAN leader’s summit is to see how this organisation runs their meeting,” Brown said. “You got a region of 10 of the South East Asian countries, smaller economies but like 2050 this region will be referred to as the largest economy in the world.”

“The way they had their meeting and engagement provides an insight into how gatherings are a lot more effective particularly when they engage with their dialogue partners.”

Brown said that some of the topics up for discussion at the Forum Meeting include the Fukushima nuclear wastewater issue and the Rarotonga Treaty.

He said that through the Pacific Partnerships for Prosperity, they have a number of work plans that include the revitalisation of the Rarotonga Treaty in light of the increased interest in the Pacific region, the issue of Fukushima discharge, the issue around storage of nuclear waste in the Marshall Islands, and the AUKUS treaty.

Brown also said that a number of agencies affiliated to the Forum will be coming, and that a number of agencies want to be affiliated, such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF), whose new executive director will be coming.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI) said that they have been in consultation with Forum Members and the Forum Secretariat, and that the Government of the Cook Islands is finalising the programme for the Leaders Week, of which the Pacific Partnership for Prosperity (PPfP) is a key part.

Aligned with the theme of this year’s Forum Meeting, the PPfP represents existing and new initiatives, and proposed regional collective actions that have transformative potential and require new funding, investments, and partnerships to support and deliver development outcomes for Pacific communities.