Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister, Carmel Sepuloni and Government-elect representative, Gerry Brownlee, will represent New Zealand at the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Retreat in the Cook Islands this week.
“Regardless of who is in Government, Aotearoa New Zealand’s relationship with our Pacific whānau is long-standing and vital,” said Ms Sepuloni.
“I am pleased to lead the Aotearoa New Zealand delegation on this occasion, and to have the opportunity to reaffirm the value we place on our existing regional relationships.”
She said the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ week is an important platform to connect and talanoa as the Blue Pacific Continent.
“It’s also an opportunity to discuss the issues that matter most to our region — such as climate change, health, and security — and to explore ways to enhance our collective resilience and prosperity.”
A key focus of this year’s Leaders’ Retreat will be to endorse the implementation plan for the Forum’s 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.
“Aotearoa New Zealand strongly supports the implementation of the Strategy, which is the collective roadmap to achieve the common goals of peace, security, and prosperity in, and for, the Pacific,” said Ms Sepuloni.
While in the Cook Islands, Ms Sepuloni and Mr Brownlee will hold a joint meeting with Cook Islands Prime Minister, Mark Brown and participate in elements of the broader Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Week programme.
The delegation departs on Wednesday 8 November and will return on Friday 10 November.