Climate change, pandemic top agenda

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Seawater floods past an ineffective seawall into the community of Veivatuloa village. Picture: REUTERS

Climate change impacts, action and financing and COVID-19 pandemic recovery were two of the many key topics discussed at the 12th Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders (PICL) at the East-West Centre (EWC), Hawaii, recently.

In a EWC press statement, President of the Federated States of Micronesia and PICL Chair David Panuelo spoke about the importance of Pacific Leaders coming together through the PICL.

“Yes, we have our own national interests, and possibly differing views and perspectives on important issues, but we have mutually agreed regional interests, and Pacific regionalism can only happen in a safe space for us to dialogue,” he said.

Pacific leaders or their designates, representing 16 Pacific Island Countries and Territories engaged in a series of closed meetings to deliberate on a range of issues including ongoing nuclear legacies, Japan’s current plans to dispose of nuclear-contaminated Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) treated water into the Pacific Ocean, increased commitments to advancing the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, and an endorsement for PIDP (Pacific Islands Development Program) to assume leadership responsibilities for the Pacific Women Leaders Coalition.

PIDP, as a member of the Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific (CROP), convened the CROP Women of the Wave Network as part of the PICL activities.