President Biden to address Pacific Forum summit
Suva, FIJI — The US President, Joe Biden, is expected to address Pacific Islands Forum Leaders at their virtual meeting Friday.
Biden has been invited by the Prime Minister of Fiji, Frank Bainimarama, who is the incoming chair of the Forum as the regional grouping marks its 50th anniversary.
Issues including Covid-19 response, preparations for the COP 26 climate summit, ocean health and security are up for discussion.
It will be the first time a US president has addressed a leaders summit of the Pacific Forum which has 18 member countries and territories.
"As we commemorate our 50 years of shared aspirations and history in the Pacific, we also find ourselves at a defining juncture in our history and we are faced with unprecedented political, economic and socio-economic challenges across the region," Bainimarama said.
"This first meeting is the beginning of a series of meeting that will see Forum Leaders convene over the next 5 to 6 months to continue to dialogue and work through the challenges before us and to advocate and progress our priorities as a collective."
The Forum secretariat said the series of 51st Forum meetings in coming months with the Chair will involve leading virtual dialogues with civil society, the private sector, dialogue partner countries and other regional organisations.
A plenary will be held with associate members and Forum observers. An in-person Leaders Retreat is planned for Fiji in January 2022.