Fiji to host Pacific Islands Forum Special Leaders Retreat

Photo: PIFS

The Pacific Islands Forum Special Leaders Retreat will be held in Nadi, Fiji on 24 February 2023. 

The retreat will be preceded by a traditional welcome ceremony and a welcome dinner on 23 February 2023.

The meeting will be hosted by the Fiji Government, led by the Forum Chair and Prime Minister of Fiji, Sitiveni Rabuka.

The Sheraton Golf and Beach Resort in Denarau, Nadi will be the key venue for the meeting and related events.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has called an urgent Pacific Islands Forum retreat due to the tensions between Pacific Island countries, particularly Micronesia during her meeting with Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister Justin Tkatchenko last week.

“Micronesia had withdrawn from the Forum due to disagreements with the former Prime Minister of Fiji. However, with the election of Rabuka, he has taken the initiative to engage in dialogue with the leaders of Kiribati and Micronesia,” Tkatchenko said.

“This retreat in Fiji will bring all the Pacific Island countries back to the Forum, allowing us to work together as one voice to address crucial issues such as security, economics, climate change, and economic enhancement. From February 22-24, the Prime Minister will be traveling to attend this important meeting and reunite the Pacific Island nations, enabling us to move forward collectively.” he said.

Mahuta has also invited PNG Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tkatchenko to New Zealand to explore the various programmes and projects that both countries could collaborate on together.

The delegation will be visiting the Seasonal Workers Programme in New Zealand, which has offered 18,000 positions for seasonal workers. Currently, there are only 100 Papua New Guineans working in New Zealand and the delegation will be visiting them on site, meeting with contractors, the Labor and Immigration Department, and the Foreign Affairs representatives.