PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare said, the theme of the 4th Leaders’ Summit do recognises the fact that the health, wealth, history, culture and identity of the peoples of the Pacific Islands are vast and diverse.
Speaking at the official opening of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) Leaders’ Summit, at the Lawson Tama stadium on Tuesday, Mr Sogavare said the theme underpins the role oceans play to the biological diversity of the people within the Pacific realm.
The theme of the current Leaders’ Summit is ‘Stewardship for Healthy Oceans & Nations’.
“It reinforces hat fact that the geographical vastness of our nations is immeasurable.
“We cannot deny the fact that we are oceans people; we live by the ocean and we are big ocean states,” he said.
He added, we as Pacific Islanders can easily correlate the aspirations of the Sustainable Development Goals to the health and welfare of the ocean that we share among us.
“Oceans cover approximately 70.8% or 361 million square kilometres of earth’s surface with a volume of about 1,370 million cubic kilometres. The oceans contain 97% of our planet’s available water.
“In our Pacific region, we can say that careful management of our ocean is key to our sustainable future”.
The Prime Minister said, the theme of stewardship for Healthy Oceans and Healthy Nations is also meant to stimulate the intellectual thinking capacities of the Pacific Island leaders who are part of the current PIDF summit, in Honiara.
“Let us have this intellectual stimulation to save the health of our ocean and safeguard the identity of our nations.
“That said, on behalf of every Solomon Islanders, I applaud your stewardship for a healthy ocean and healthy nations”.
By RONALD TOITO’ONA