Pacific Islands Forum: at the end of the 2022 summit, the call for action "urgent and immediate" on the climate

Vulnerable Pacific islands on Thursday demanded "urgent and immediate" global action on climate change. While emphasizing, in the face of China's growing influence in the region, their commitment to democracy and the "rules-based" international order.

Meeting at a summit in Suva, capital of Fiji, Pacific island leaders stressed that time was running out to avoid the "worst case scenarios" who would see their countries, many of which sit just above sea level, engulfed or rendered uninhabitable by increasingly severe storms. "We are on the front line in the face of the harmful effects of climate change", recalled the leaders in a joint strategic document for 2050, adopted after three days of discussions. They called for "urgent, robust and transformative action" at all levels, national, regional and global.

The 2022 edition of the Pacific Islands Forum was the most important in years: the climate emergency is becoming more pressing for low-lying islands, and the forum could not be held during the pandemic of Covid-19. But the summit was marked by geopolitical rivalries in the region, particularly between the United States and China. US Vice President Kamala Harris announced in a video address that Washington would open two new embassies in Tonga and Kiribati, appoint a regional envoy and inject an additional $600 million into the region.

The Caledonian delegation at this FIP summit on July 12, alongside the New Zealand Prime Minister. ©Pacific Islands Forum

A region in which China has made no secret of its ambitions, deploying its public companies there and exercising checkbook diplomacy. If Beijing signed a much criticized security agreement with the Solomons this year, the Prime Minister of this country, Manasseh Sogavare, reassured his island partners by announcing, on the sidelines of the summit, that he would not host a foreign military base. . The establishment of such a base would make the Solomon Islands "an enemy" of the Pacific and "would make our country and our people potential targets for military strikes", he told RNZ Pacific.

As a bonus, this video shot just before the final family photo by our colleagues from Polynésie la 1ère, Heidi Yieng Kow and Miri Tumatariri:

Pacific Islands Forum, preparing for the final photo ©Heidi Yen Kow / Polynesia the 1st

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