Forum Chair and Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown says recent events in New Caledonia are deeply concerning to the Pacific family.

“I offer my sincere condolences to those families that have lost loved ones in this escalating conflict. I join fellow community and political leaders in calling for peace and unity, to address the ongoing political impasse in New Caledonia.

“I acknowledge that the collegial dialogue that once existed between the parties to the Noumea Accord has not been effective in recent years, particularly since the 2021 New Caledonia Referendum on Independence.

“I call on all parties to return to our family table, to reconcile our differences, recall and build on the sentiments of 1988 and 1998 during the signings of the Matignon and Noumea Accords that led to over 30 years of relative peace,” said PM Brown in a statement.

He said the Pacific Islands Forum stands ready to facilitate and provide a supported and neutral space for all parties to come together in the spirit of the Pacific Way, to find an agreed way forward that safeguards the interests of the people of New Caledonia.