The Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Hon. Jeremiah Manele is in Busan, South Korea to attend the 5th Korea – Pacific Islands Foreign Ministers Meeting. This is the 5th Meeting between the Republic of Korea and Pacific Island Forum countries. The first meeting was held in Seoul in 2011. This will be the first face to face meeting between the Republic of Korea and Pacific Island Countries since 2021 when the meeting was held virtually during the pandemic.
The meeting brings together Foreign Ministers and Officials from Pacific Island countries and the Republic of Korea as a Post- Forum Dialogue partner to discuss regional issues of concern. Issues to be discussed include regional priorities and development cooperation, climate change disaster and environment, ocean, maritime affairs and fisheries, regional situations and global challenges, and people to people exchange. A joint statement will be issued after the meeting to reflect the areas of cooperation between Pacific Island countries and Republic of Korea.
As part of the programme, the Pacific Island Foreign Ministers and Officials will pay a courtesy call on the President of the Republic of Korea, HE Yoon Suk Yeol in Seoul and also the President of KOICA, Sohn Hyuk-Sang.
Regionally, the meeting is important for Pacific Island countries to discuss with the government of the Republic of Korea on the implementation of the 2050 Blue Pacific Strategy. This is to ensure the support provided by the Republic of Korea aligns with the regional priorities set by Forum Leaders.
For Solomon Islands, at the bilateral level, the meeting is important to acknowledge the support provided by the government of the Republic of Korea and to discuss and seek support in other areas where Korea would assist in meeting our development needs and priorities. Currently, a major project supported by the government of the Republic of Korea is the Tina River Hydro Project. The project is the first large scale renewable energy project in Solomon Islands and once completed, it will contribute towards affordable, renewable and sustainable energy development in the country. The investment by the government of the Republic of Korea demonstrates shared vision of promoting green and sustainable energy in the country.
Foreign Minister Manele is accompanied by Mr Cornelius Walegerea, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade. Both will return this weekend after attending the meeting.