The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Dame Meg Taylor, says the ‘Blue Pacific’ identity is about collective empowerment of Pacific people to determine their own development agenda.
Dame Meg made the comment in Suva on 27 August 2018 at the University of the South Pacific’s Research Week.
“The Blue Pacific is about you and me; it is about policy-makers and academic researchers; it is about national government and private sector and civil society stakeholders; it is about all of us working together for the betterment of our people.”
In 2017, Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum endorsed the Blue Pacific identity as the core driver of collective action for advancing the Leaders’ vision under the Framework for Pacific Regionalism.
Pacific leaders and the Blue Economy
During his tenure as chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, the Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has consistently advocated for and represented the Blue Pacific in the face of an increasingly crowded and complex Pacific region, with strengthening attention from both new and old partners seeking to assert their influence here.
“Realising the potential of Pacific regionalism in the context we find ourselves in – today – requires a range of focused political conversations in order to establish strong foundations for the future that we want for our region, said Dame Meg.
More so now, when the Pacific has become the focus of geo-strategic competition between major world powers, placing the region at the centre of renewed strategic interest and importance.
“The Blue Pacific narrative helps us to understand, in and on our own terms, based on our unique customary values and principles, the strategic value of our region. It guides our political conversations towards ensuring we have a strong and collective voice, a regional position and action, on issues vital to our development as a region and as the Blue Pacific continent,” said Dame Meg.