A united Pacific … a stronger Pacific.
Senator the Hon Penny Wong, the new Australian Foreign Minister, visited Fiji four days into the new Government to speak at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
In her speech on 26 May 2022 Penny Wong has promised:
‘…we will work with you to make our Pacific Family even stronger.
We will listen.
We will hear you …’
Senator Wong met with Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama on Friday 27 May 2022 to discuss climate change and strategic contest in the Pacific.
Senator Wong highlighted Canberra’s renewed focus on climate change and continued economic support for the region.
Regional unity has never been more important, as we face unprecedented challenges including COVID, climate change and strategic contest.
Senator Wong’s arrival in Fiji coincided with the first leg of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s eight-nation tour of the Pacific, during which he is seeking a sweeping regional deal on security and trade.
Ms Wong said:
“We want to be a partner of choice and demonstrate to your nation and other nations in the region that we are a partner who can be trusted and [is] reliable, and historically we have been.”
‘And to our Pacific brothers and sisters – I want to say thank you.
‘Thank you for your stewardship of our shared Blue Pacific and its amazing biodiversity.
‘Thank you for being custodians of some of the planet’s most ancient cultures, and many of the world’s languages.
‘We feel a profound sense of kinship with the Pacific, of wanting to connect with the Pacific as part of one family.
‘We have longstanding bonds – forged in times of crisis but sustained in peace and prosperity.
‘These bonds are evident in the dynamic contributions made by the Pacific diaspora to Australian life – in music, culture, sport, academia…. ”
With its long, pre-Independence, interest in Papua New Guinea and in the Pacific, members of the Papua New Guinea Association of Australia are keenly interested to see more engagement.
See the Foreign Minister’s speech at https://www.foreignminister.gov.au/minister/penny-wong/speech/speech-pacific-islands-forum-secretariat
This piece includes information from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-05-27/new-foreign-minister-penny-wong-makes-pitch-to-pacific/101104730
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