HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 578: 24 August 2011

Agenda set for 2011 Pacific Leaders Forum

The Cook Islands Government will discuss progress on its strategic renewable energy policy at the Pacific Leaders Forum being held next week from 6-9 September in Auckland New Zealand.
The Pacific Islands Forum brings together member countries from across the Pacific to work on shared goals for the social and economic wellbeing of the region.
Prime Minister Henry Puna said the Government will promote its renewable energy strategy specifying how it will navigate a raft of issues including policy, legislation, capacity building, awareness and advocacy options, “to meet our climate change objectives related to energy independence, and the contribution this makes to transforming the country’s economy and promoting the Cook Islands as a clean and green nation.”
Economic growth and sustainable development are overarching themes for discussions at the Forum with a focus on energy, fisheries, tourism, education, agriculture and infrastructure.
“All of these matters are critical to the economic growth and sustainable development of the Cook Islands, needless to say what we can contribute and what we have to learn from discussions and our participation at the Forum will be invaluable.
Prime Minister Puna said by attending the Forum the Government was showing its support and solidarity to New Zealand and would be offering to host the Pacific Leaders Forum in Rarotonga next year. Hosting the event in 2012 means the Cook Islands will chair the Forum until the next Leaders meeting in 2013.
Those attending the Forum on behalf of the Cook Islands Government include: the Prime Minister Hon Henry Puna, Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Tom Marsters and Minister of Finance, Hon Mark Brown.
The meeting will be attended by members countries including: the Cook Islands, Australia, Fiji, Nauru, New Zealand, Tonga and Western Samoa, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.
They will be joined by associate members New Caledonia and French Polynesia; observer organisations including the Commonwealth, the United Nations, the Asian Development Bank, and the World Bank; and worldwide dialogue partners Canada, People’s Republic of China, European Union, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The Auckland event is the 42nd Pacific Islands Forum and marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Forum, which held its first Leaders’ Meeting in Wellington in 1971.
At last year’s Forum held in Vanuatu leaders agreed that climate change remained the greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific. They stressed the need for a meaningful legally binding agreement on emissions reduction to be reached urgently and without delay.
This year’s Forum will also coincide with the start of the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand with New Zealand and Tonga kicking off the opening match in Auckland at 8.30pm on 9 September 2011.
Following are meetings and dates for the Pacific Leaders Forum.
6 September - Smaller Island States Leaders’ Meeting
- Pacific ACP Leaders’ Meeting
7 September - Opening Ceremony
7 September - 42nd Pacific Islands Forum Plenary Session
8 September - Forum Leaders’ Retreat
9 September - 23rd Post-Forum Dialogue Partners’ Meeting

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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