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Pacific sovereignty at the forefront of this year’s Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting

Promoting the unique Pacific way and the shared vision of a resilient, sustainable, and prosperous Te Moana Nui a Kiwa, - or Blue Pacific Continent - will underpin a significant meeting between Pacific leaders later this year.

The annual 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting (PIFLM52) is set to be held in the Cook Islands this November.

Eighteen member nations form the leaders forum, one associate member (Tokelau), five observer nations, and 21 dialogue partner nations. 

The theme will be, “Our Voices, Our Choices, Our Pacific Way: Promote, Partner, Prosper”.

Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown will chair the meeting this year. It will be the first time the Cook Islands - whose nation is a founding member - have hosted the forum since 2012. 

The Cook Islands' cultural heritage and natural surroundings are featured in the official emblem for the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting, which Brown says symbolises the Pacific region's unity and diversity. 

"The creative work behind crafting the theme and designing our official logo has been a collaborative effort with input across our community,” he says. 

“Our theme represents the collective voice and aspirations of our Pacific people, highlighting the importance of promoting our unique Pacific Way, forging strong partnerships, and driving prosperity in our region.”

The Edgewater Resort and Spa chief executive Andrew Whittaker said to Cook Islands News the PIFLM would be a great opportunity to showcase the Cook Islands, and Rarotonga in particular.

“It’s a chance for us to show that we do have the infrastructure for large events such as the Forum, and we can be considered an alternative to some of the bigger Pacific Island nations,” Whittaker said.

Photo supplied  Caption: Outgoing Forum Chair and Fiji Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka (left) Forum Chair and Cook Islands Prime Minister, Mark Brown (centre) and Forum Secretary General Henry Puna (right) at a press conference following the special leaders retreat held in Fiji in February 2023.