Rarotonga, Cook Islands, 27 October 2023 — The Cook Islands continue to advance preparations to welcome Pacific Leaders to Rarotonga and Aitutaki for the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting (PIFLM52) to be held from 6 – 10 November 2023.
As the countdown continues to when Pacific Leaders touch down at Rarotonga International Airport, a comprehensive beautification initiative to prepare the islands of both Rarotonga and Aitutaki continues.
The program, which is multi-pronged and involving a number of agencies and community partners, aligns with the Cook Islands' Mana Tiaki (guardianship) of the environment values, emphasising the importance of protecting the natural environment and the aesthetic appeal of our Pacific Ocean.
Guided by the theme of "Our Voices, Our Choices, Our Pacific Way: Promote, Partner, Prosper," the program also draws on the Cook Islands' cultural hosting values as it prepares to welcome its Pacific family and partners.
"The Cook Islands is looking forward to hosting the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting and showcasing its beautiful islands and warm hospitality for all our guests," said Te Marae Ora (TMO) Senior Health Protection Officer, Nelson Ngaoire.
"The core organising coordinators of PIFLM52 have reviewed existing national programs that uphold our Mana Tiaki values and have partnered with key agencies and our communities to enhance and synchronise their delivery with the hosting of PIFLM52."
Several programmes have been embraced as part of final preparations for the hosting of PIFLM52, including:
- The Tutaka Programme being delivered from 23 October – 3 November 2023. These are overseen by the TMO Public Health Division and held on a periodical basis throughout any given year as part of residential and community beautification and environmental improvements.
- Collaboration with the Island Beautification Programme of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (INTAFF).
- Te Aponga Uira's (TAU) colourful contribution, which will bring a vibrant and festive atmosphere to the week's program through coloured streetlights and bolstered service delivery to key PIFLM52 venues.
- Infrastructure Cook Islands through key road enhancements, arboriculture, and general public beautification, particularly in high-traffic areas, to ensure minimal disruption to traffic flows during PIFLM52.
- PIFLM52 banners will be prominently displayed around the island, adding to the overall visual appeal of the hosting in the Cook Islands.
These efforts have been a collaboration involving multiple entities over a number of months and aimed at minimising disruption for Rarotonga and Aitutaki residents while providing for enhanced ambience for residents and delegates of PIFLM52.
More than 500 delegates, 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, have been registered and will attend PIFLM52.
"The shared commitment to Mana Tiaki values and the beautification collaboration efforts of recent weeks underscores the pride our people take in our ipukarea, and our determination to showcase our hospitality for all delegates attending PIFLM52 whilst minimising disruption for our residents," said Ngaoire.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI) is working in partnership with partner agencies and community entities to ensure all arrangements are in place for a successful PIFLM52. The twenty-two focal areas initially calibrated to advance preparations in February have been refined to eleven as arrangements are finalised.
The 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting will be hosted in Rarotonga, Cook Islands from 6 – 10 November 2023 with the Pacific Leaders Retreat to take place in Aitutaki. The theme of the PIFLM52 is “Our Voices, Our Choices, Our Pacific Way: Promote, Partner, Prosper”.
PIFLM52 will bring together all Pacific Leaders, partners, and special guests to talanoa and promote genuine Pacific Partnerships that will ensure the resilience and prosperity of our Pacific people. For more information, please visit www.piflm52.com.