Cook Islands, 5 November, 2023:- The Prime Minister of Tonga, Hon. Hu’akavameiliku, held a bilateral meeting with His Excellency, Dennis Francis, President of the General Assembly and Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Trinidad and Tobago to the United Nations in New York, ahead of the 52nd Pacific Leaders Meeting in the Cook Islands on November 5, 2023.
The Prime Minister mentioned that the presence of UN PGA in Rarotonga is a reflection of the importance of the partnership and relationship between UN and Pacific Island Forum.
He commended on the leadership of the UN General Assembly and the vision for the 78th session which calls for Peace, Prosperity, Progress and Sustainability.
Tonga was pleased to co-host the UN Day Concert with the Family Offices for Sustainable Development (FOSD) at the UN General Assembly Hall last week to commemorate the “United Nations Day ”. Tonga appreciates the attendance of the GPA President and the Secretary General.
He mentioned that the event not only celebrate and reaffirm the principles of the UN Charter that have guided humanity for the past 78 years, but to mobilize world leaders around climate action in the lead up to the COP in Dubai as well as the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States in Antigua and Barbuda next year.
“We are keen to see progress in the Loss and Damage Fund arrangement. A new Loss and Damage Funding Arrangement under the governance of the UNFCCC must be fit-for-purpose to countries who are vulnerable especially ours in the Pacific.”
Other issues raised includes the Fourth International Conference on SIDS in 2024; Representation of the Pacific in the UN System; Engagements at the International Seabed Authority(ISA); SIDS Dock; Natural disasters and the Israel/Gaza conflict.
The President of GPA warmly greeted the Prime Minister and stressed crucial ties between Tonga and GPA especially sea level rising and reflect on effect of climate events on development.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by Hon. Dr. Viliami Uasike Latu, Minister for Trade and Economic
Development, Mr. Paula P Ma’u, Chief Secretary & Secretary to Cabinet and Acting CEO for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Leonaitasi Kuluni, Deputy Secretary, and Elsie Fukofuka both of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.