13 July 2022
Solomon Islands welcomes United States 60 million assistance.
Solomon Islands has welcomed the United States support worth 60 million per year towards Fisheries management and other related issues that continues to threatens the blue pacific resources.
Minister of National Planning and Development Coordination, representing Solomon Islands during the announcement, Rex Ramofafia says Solomon Islands is pleased with the assistance as it will play a major role in addressing Solomon Islands’ maritime challenges such as climate change, maritime security and other issues.
“This is a welcome news not only for Solomon Islands but also as a forum family within the blue pacific.
“I on behalf of the people of Solomon Islands welcome this support and looking forward to working closely with the rest of the forum family,” he said.
Mr Ramofafia also acknowledges Vice President Harris for reminding the forum family the need to respect sovereign boundaries with shared values and common understanding.
Deputy Secretary Technical of the Ministry of Fisheries, Rosalie Masu shares similar sentiment saying that the assistance will help Solomon Islands long standing issues on maritime resources and safety.
“For Solomon Islands, Tuna is our very important resource. It is a commodity that drive our economy and this assistance will be of great importance to address some of the issues we have.
“Other areas that we will be looking at will be on climate change, maritime security, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and conservation,” she says.
Mr.Masu says the Solomon Islands Ministry of Fisheries is looking forward to work alongside the Forum Secretariat to tap the assistance.
Kamala Harris, the vice President of the United States announced today that United States will allocate 60 million per year for the next ten years.
“We will request from the United States Congress an increase from $21 million per year to $60 million per year for the next 10 years. Sixty million dollars per year for the next 10 years.
“These funds will help strengthen climate resilience; invest in marine planning and conservation; and combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing; and enhance maritime security.
“All of us convened here, we — we recognize there is so much we can do together. We have a strong foundation. And we will build on this and embark on a new chapter, all in the spirit of partnership, friendship, and respect.
“We must remind ourselves that upholding a system of laws, institutions, and common understandings — well, this is how we ensure stability and, indeed, prosperity around the world.
“We will continue to work with all of you, and all of our partners and allies, to craft new rules and norms for future frontiers grounded in our shared values of openness, transparency, and fairness,” she said.
US tells Pacific leaders it will deepen engagement in the region
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United States vice-president Kamala Harris has assured Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting in Suva that Washington will "significantly deepen" its engagement in the region.
Harris joined the regional leaders on Wednesday morning to announce half a dozen new commitments to signal America's renewed commitment the region.
The commitments included the establishment of embassies in Kiribati and Tonga, tripling the funding for economic development and ocean resilience, and the appointment of the first-ever US envoy to the Pacific Islands Forum.
She said the US recognised that it did not provide the "diplomatic attention and support" to Pacific nations in recent years.
But she says that will now change.
"We will significantly deepen our engagement in the Pacific Islands. We will embark on a new chapter in our partnership, a chapter with increased American presence, where we commit to work with you in the short and long term to take on the most pressing issues that you face.
"The United States is a proud Pacific nation and has an enduring commitment to the Pacific islands which is why President Joe Biden and I seek to strengthen our partnership with you.
"We recognise that in recent years the Pacific Islands may not have received the diplomatic attention and support that you deserve. So, today, I am here to tell you directly, we are going to change that.
"In this region and around the world, the United States believes it is important to strengthen the international rules based order. To defend it, to promote it and to build on it. These international rules and norms have brought peace and stability to the Pacific for more than 75 years.
"Principles that importantly state that the sovereignty and terriotorial integrity of all states must be respected. Principles that allow all states big and small to conduct their affairs free from aggression or coercion.
"At a time when we see bad actors trying to undermine the rules-based order we must stand united. We must remind ourselves that upholding a system of laws, institutions, and common understandings ... well, this is how we ensure stability and indeed prosperity around the world.
"We will continue to work with all of you and all of our partners and allies to craft new rules and norms for future frontiers grounded in our shared values of openness, transparency and fairness.
"All of us convened we recognise there is so much we can do together. We have a strong foundation and we will build on this and embark in a new chapter - all in the spirit of partnership, friendship and respect."
Harris also said the US plans to triple funding for economic development and ocean resilience for Pacific islands.
She said a request will go to the US Congress for $US600 million.
"Sixty million dollars per year for the next 10 years. These funds will help strengthen climate resilience, invest in marine planning and conservation and combat illegal unreported and unregulated fishing and enhance maritime security."
Last year, President Joe Biden was the first US president to address the Forum Leaders, which was followed up by a visit to Fiji by the Secretary of State Antony Blinken to launch the America's Indo-Pacific strategy.
Ms. Harris said Washington plans to build on this foundation in the months and years ahead.
The United States also announced a suite of new commitments in an effort to boost its relations with Pacific Island countries during the Forum Leaders' Meeting taking place in Suva.
US vice-president Kamala Harris will join regional leaders virtually on the second day of the annual meeting on Wednesday at the invitation of Pacific Island Forum chair Frank Bainimarama.
The commitments included the establishment of embassies in Kiribati and Tonga, tripling the funding for economic development and ocean resilience, the appointment of the first-ever US envoy to the Pacific Islands Forum, and developing a new US national strategy on the Pacific.
It would also include expanding USAID presence, bringing Peace Corps back to the region, and establishing the Partners in the Blue Pacific initiative - a new cooperation mechanism including allies Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the United Kingdom.
"This milestone reflects the United States' robust and growing commitment to the Pacific Islands region," the White House said in a statement.
It said Partners of the Blue Pacific, or PBP, was dedicated to supporting Pacific priorities more effectively to bolster Pacific regionalism, and to expand opportunities between the Pacific and the world.
Under the deal, the US and its allies would provide a combined $2.1 billion in development assistance for the region, it said.
The White House said the PBP would also seek to drive additional focus and resources by welcoming further members and observers, including in Europe and the Indo-Pacific.
"Above all, at every stage, the PBP will be led and guided by the Pacific Islands, including close consultations on its flagship projects," it added.
The US was a dialogue partner of the PIF, along with 20 other countries, including China, the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Canada, India, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Souces – Island Sun newspaper and Radio New Zealand