The upcoming regional Forum Leaders Meeting led the agenda for the first visit of Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Baron Waqa to Tonga this week.

In his first official visit on Wednesday with Tonga Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni, SG Waqa shared his key priorities for regionalism with the incoming Forum Chair.

This was followed by a formal call this morning on Crown Prince Tupouto’a Ulukalala. Other visits to Parliament, SPC’s office in Tonga, and the office of the Climate Minister formed part of the meeting schedule for SG.

“Tonga is well into its countdown to the 53rd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting and it was exciting to receive updates from the Prime Minister, Crown Prince Ulukala, and all those I have met so far. We are excited to be part of these preparations and support what will be a historic moment for the incoming Forum Chair, and hosting by the Kingdom of Tonga,” said SG Waqa.

“The theme of a ‘Transformative Resilient Pasifiki”, with a call to ‘Build Better Now’, resonates well with all our Pacific Leaders. It is time to act on promises and do so with our people and our future in mind.”

SG Waqa expressed appreciation to PM Hu’akavameiliku for the opportunity to meet and will continue his visit with other key sessions ahead of his departure early Friday. Progress on regional priorities and specific programmes involving Tonga have been a feature of the talks so far.

The PIF Director for Governance and Engagement Sione Tekiteki and advisers are supporting the SG mission to Tonga.