Cook Islands advance preparations to host the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in November

Cook Islands advance preparations to host the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in November

Rarotonga, Cook Islands, 20 September 2023 - The Cook Islands continue to advance preparations to host the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting (PIFLM52) in Rarotonga and Aitutaki under the theme of "Our Voices, Our Choices, Our Pacific Way: Promote, Partner, Prosper."

Held from 6 – 10 November 2023, this year's hosting is expected to attract around 500 people, including Forum Leaders and their delegations, Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific (CROP) representatives, regional private sector and civil society representatives, Forum Associate members and Forum Observers as well as Forum Dialogue Partners.

Drawing from the experiences and learnings of the Cook Islands' last hosting of the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting held in 2012, preparations for PIFLM52 have been led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI) and supported by a number of government agencies organised across a number of focal areas including accommodation, security, transportation, registration, and accreditation to name a few.

Preparations in recent weeks have stepped up with the secondment of select officials from a number of government agencies and engagement with various business entities in the airline, accommodation, catering, events, rental vehicles, and supply sectors.

"We're grateful for the various partnerships and support rendered to ensure we meet our hosting obligations as prescribed by the Pacific Islands Forum, working closely with the Forum Secretariat in Suva, and our public and private sector in Rarotonga and Aitutaki," said MFAI Secretary and PIFLM52 National Coordinator, Tepaeru Herrmann. "We're also grateful for the financial support of our international partners to cover the bulk of our hosting costs."

Last week, Prime Minister and Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, the Honourable Mark Brown, chaired the Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting (FFMM) in Suva, with the recommendations emanating from those discussions to be considered by Leaders when they gather in Rarotonga in November.

The agenda for the Leaders Meeting will be further informed by Forum Trade Ministers discussions when they meet in Suva in October, and will likely include the 2050 Strategy Implementation Plan, climate action and resource mobilisation, oceans innovation, regional security, and economic resilience.

Secretary Herrmann is supported by a core team in overseeing final preparations to host PIFLM52 including MFAI Director of Capability and Service Delivery, Amelia Fukofuka-Murare as Overall Logistics Coordinator; MFAI Pacific and Regional Affairs Director, Antonina Browne as Policy and Strategic Outcomes Coordinator; Apii Tumutoa from Te Marae Ora Public Health as Outreach and Community Coordinator; and Nanette Woonton from SPREP as the Lead Media and Communications Coordinator.

Following last week's Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting, the program for PIFLM52, advice on arrangements, and final invitations to all attendees will be issued by the Government of the Cook Islands and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat by the end of this week, after which the program and detailed information on arrangements will be uploaded to the website