Fiji’s Prime Minister and Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum Honourable Sitiveni Rabuka has urged Pacific leaders to “renew with one another our commitment to the Forum family, region and most especially, our Pacific people”.
While hosting a welcome dinner for the leaders last night ahead of their Special Leaders Retreat, the Prime Minister said
that we are a region that share a history that is centered around our ocean, and whose future is dependent on the one ocean, that we all share.
“This gathering is like no other as it is a gathering of a family reconciled. A family that has worked through its differences and as a result, stands stronger and united today,” he added.
“I hope that at the end of our talanoa, we will celebrate our unity, diversity, and most importantly, the renewal of our collective commitment and our common interests, as one Forum family.”
Prime Minister Rabuka highlighted that the recent challenges within our Forum family have reaffirmed the need for the leaders to make considered efforts to invest in the leadership potential within our region.
“We have seen how this worked in my recent visit to Kiribas, and I pray that it will also contribute to a stronger and united Forum family,” he said.
“Now that Fiji has performed the traditional ceremony of matanigasau, our proven and age-old ceremony of rebuilding relationships by seeking forgiveness for wrongs that have been committed.”
He also stressed that the region share common values that are built around our people, our communities, our cultures and our traditions.
“At its very core, they are the very values that underpin our solidarity as a family; our collective effort as a region; and our shared vision for our people.”