PIFS General Secretary hosts Solomon Islands ‘Tok Stori’ session

Hosted by Forum Secretary-General Henry Puna at the Forum Secretariat, the dialogue allowed Forum members to hear directly from the Solomon Islands government on the context of its security agreement with China.

Pacific Forum Leaders and Foreign Ministers attended a unique ‘Tok Stori’ hybrid event in Suva.

Last week’s event was launched by the Solomon Islands as part of a ministerial visit to Fiji, including an appeal to the Pacific Islands Forum Chair and Prime Minister of Fiji, the Honorable Josaia V. Bainimarama.

Hosted by Forum Secretary-General Henry Puna at the Forum Secretariat, the dialogue allowed Forum members to hear directly from the Solomon Islands government on the context of its security agreement with China.

In his opening address, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Jeremiah Manele and Minister of Policing and Corrections, Hon. Anthony Veke welcomed the opportunity to speak to regional colleagues.

The two ministers highlighted the value of regional security agreements, including the Biketawa, Boe and Aitutaki declarations, which also make available to members the good offices of the Forum Secretary General to facilitate dialogue on issues of concern. within the Forum family.

In tok-stori mode, Forum members reiterated their respect for the sovereign right of each member to conduct their national affairs without outside interference or coercion. Some members also took the opportunity to highlight some of their own regional security concerns, noting the Forum’s shared vision of a region of “peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and prosperity”. so that all people in the Pacific can live free, healthy and productive lives”. .

Minister Manele welcomed the opportunity to engage with Members, thanking those present for the opportunity to share an update on Solomon Islands’ efforts to address their national security concerns. He further thanked all Member countries for their comments and expressed his support for the sovereign decision taken by the Solomon Islands.

In his closing remarks, SG Puna noted Members’ significant and continued interest in this issue and reaffirmed the value of dialogue in resolving differences of opinion within the Forum family.

Source: press release

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