The Partners in the Blue Pacific (PBP) Foreign Ministerial Meeting, held at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel in New York, convened to discuss the group’s objectives, achievements, and concerns.
The meeting was organized at the invitation of the PBP host, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The PBP is a coalition aimed at enhancing economic and diplomatic relations with Pacific island nations.
Comprising the United States and its allies, including Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Canada, the group was announced by the United States on June 24 last year.
The PBP’s primary objectives are to deliver effective results for the Pacific, strengthen Pacific regionalism, and expand opportunities for cooperation between the Pacific and the world.
During the meeting, participants noted significant progress made by the United States and its partners in engaging with the Pacific region;
• Efforts were made to enhance in-person, high-level engagements with the Pacific, including the initial plan for President Biden to visit Papua New Guinea (PNG), which would have marked the first visit by a sitting US president to the region.
• The United States reopened its embassy in the Solomon Islands and inaugurated a new embassy in Tonga.
• Advanced plans for establishing embassies in Kiribati and Vanuatu were discussed.
• The United States also established a new USAID office in Fiji and signed a new Defence Cooperation Agreement with PNG.
Prime Minister Rabuka commended the Partners of the Blue Pacific for their proactive approach in supporting the successful delivery of the 2050 Strategy for a Blue Pacific Continent with work currently underway to develop an implementation plan for the 2050 Strategy and progress discussions on the Review of the Regional Architecture.