Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee will tomorrow attend the annual Pacific Islands Forum – Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Fiji.
“As Foreign Minister I’ve made meeting with – or talking to – my Pacific counterparts a priority,” Mr Brownlee says.
“This visit will help strengthen New Zealand’s interests and relationships in the Pacific, including our support for economic development in the region.
“The Forum provides an opportunity for us to work with our Pacific neighbours on common challenges, including regional security, fisheries management and climate change.
“I look forward to the chance to discuss issues of mutual concern with many of my Pacific counterparts,” Mr Brownlee says.
“The Pacific Islands Forum is an important voice for greater regional integration in the Pacific,” Mr Brownlee says.
The Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting lays the groundwork for the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting, taking place in Apia from September 6- 8.
Pacific Islands Forum:The Pacific Islands Forum was founded in 1971 as the South Pacific Forum. It is the preeminent Pacific regional organisation, bringing together 18 Pacific members, including Australia and New Zealand. The Forum has played an important role in sustainable fisheries management and supporting renewable energy. The Forum also supports regional security through the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands which concluded in June. For the first time French Polynesia and New Caledonia will attend this year’s meetings as full Forum members. New Zealand and nine other members of the Pacific Islands Forum signed the PACER Plus trade and development agreement in Tonga in June.