Pacific leaders meet

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Delegates of the Pacific Traditional Leaders Forum are escorted by traditional warriors on Bau Island in Tailevu yesterday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

SEVERAL high-profile and influential traditional leaders from New Zealand, Hawaii, and Samoa are in the country to meet with Fijian counterparts ahead of the inaugural Pacific Traditional Leaders Forum 2024.

The leaders were traditionally welcomed by the Turaga Bale na Vunivalu na Tui Kaba, Ratu Epenisa Cakobau.

Ratu Epenisa said the significance of the event was yet to be realised.

With the support of the Pacific Community (SPC) and Kami Pasifiki, the meeting focused on the ongoing issue of climate change and fostering cultural exchange and mutual understanding.

It also discussed the 13th Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture (FestPAC), which will be held in Honolulu, Hawaii, in June.

The event also highlights the vital role of traditional leadership in contemporary society.

Newly crowned Miss South Pacific, Moemoana Safa’atoa Schwenke, said it was an amazing experience to witness the Fijian ceremony firsthand.

A representative of the Hawaiian royal family, Failama Farden, said the event was significant as it brought together the prominent families of the Pacific community to discuss issues facing the region.

The event officially began on Monday, but the talanoa session was held yesterday.

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