47th Pacific Island Forum held in the capital of FSM, Palikir, Pohnpei
Press Release #1609-06
Palikir, Pohnpei FSM Information Services
September 19, 2016

Last week in Palikir, Pohnpei, in the capital of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) opened its 47th annual forum summit where leaders of sixteen (16) Pacific nations gathered to meet and discuss important issues for the region.  Also in attendance at this year’s Forum were Associated Members of the PIF, observers, representatives of Post-Forum Dialogue (PFD) partners, and heads of the Council of Regional Organizations for the Pacific (CROP agencies).  While this year’s theme, “Small and Far: Challenge for Growth”, is at the forefront of focus, leaders from Pacific countries reaffirmed their deep commitment to the framework for Pacific Regionalism as endorsed by leaders in 2014.

At the official opening that took place on Thursday, 08 September 2016 at Pohnpei Islands Central School (PICS) Track & Field, leaders arrived while delegates, guests and officials looked on.  Incoming Chair. H.E. Peter M. Christian, President of the FSM, delivered his remarks and expressed his gratitude to the PIF Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor and Outgoing Chair, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill of Papua New Guinea for the strong leadership in guiding the region.

Later in the week during their retreat at the FSM Congress Chambers, leaders focused their discussions on a wide range of regional issues including economic growth, fisheries, maritime surveillance, regional mobility and harmonization of business practices, West Papua, the Regional Assistance Missions to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), Pacer Plus, cervical cancer HPV vaccination, framework for rights of persons with disabilities in the Pacific, the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, climate change and disaster risk management. 

A “Pohnpei Statement on Strengthening Pacific Resilience to Climate Change and Disaster Risk” as well as a “Pohnpei Oceans Statement” were included as outcomes of the leaders’ retreat meeting along with the usual Forum Communique.  The outcome of the retreat also saw a gain in PIF full membership for two Pacific territories, namely New Caledonia and French Polynesia.

The Forum continues to serve as a conduit for member countries to raise their voice and concerns in a collective effort among other Pacific nations. 

In the final stretch of the Forum at the opening of the Post-Forum Dialogue, New Caledonia and French Polynesia for the first time, took their respective seats as full members of the Pacific Islands Forum, with the Forum now totaling eighteen (18).   Germany, whose membership as a Post-Forum Dialogue member was also approved by the leaders during their retreat, also took its seat at the opening of the PFD meeting.