The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Henry Puna, says there has never been a more momentous time for the region to get behind the benefits of the Pacific Way.

Puna is in Apia this week, meeting with key stakeholders from civil society, the private sector, and official groups following his initial discussions with Samoa Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa and senior officials.

“It is clear from our discussions so far in Micronesia, RMI, Palau, and Tonga that these country visits are helping us to implement the decisions and outcomes of annual Forum Leader meetings. We have had over five decades of communiques and declarations to provide direction. The 2050 strategy and implementation plan will ensure we get more action, more monitoring, and better results.” said SG Puna.

He said the national consultations will also lay the groundwork for incoming Secretary General, former Nauru President Baron Waqa, who will assume the post this year.

The Samoa mission was also conducted parallel to a Papua New Guinea consultation visit this week, led by PIF deputy SG Esala Nayasi.

Joining SG Puna in Samoa are the Director of Governance and Engagement Sione Tekiteki, Senior Adviser, Economics, Denton Rarawa, Trade Team Leader Noah Kouback, Resilience Team Leader Karlos Lee Moresi, and the acting Team Leader for the 2050 Strategy, Manaini Rokovunisei.

“Our sea of islands’ collective strength is our Pacific Way, where cooperation and unity put people first and leave no one behind. For our islands, the Pacific Way is a culture of unity and diversity, with people at the centre. These country visits are a reminder for all of us that wherever we are, whatever we are doing, we achieve more when we work together,” SG Puna said.

Other PIF national consultation missions this month include Nauru, Fiji, and New Zealand.