The 5th Ministerial Interim Meeting of the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM)
- On February 12 2024, commencing at 00:45 p.m. local time (9:45 a.m. on February 12 JST) for approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, the 5th Interim Ministerial Meeting of the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM) was held in Suva, Fiji, that is the first meeting held in a Pacific Island country. Ms. KAMIKAWA Yoko, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, attended and co-chaired the meeting with Hon. Tingika Elikana, Special Envoy for the Prime Minister, Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Marine Resources and Parliamentary Services of Cook Islands.
- During the meeting, participants exchanged views on policy developments and major changes in the international situation since PALM 9 in 2021, and had lively discussions on follow-up for the PALM 9 and preparation for PALM 10 to be held in Tokyo in July this year. They adopted the Chairs’ Summary (PDF) .
- Minister Kamikawa stated that while cherishing the “kizuna” and spirit that Japan and PIF members cultivated through the PALM process, she would work together to address the changing situations and challenges to maintain and strengthen a free and open international order based on the rule of law.
- PIF members welcomed that the PALM Ministerial Interim Meeting was held in the Pacific Islands Region for the first time, and expressed their intention to continue to maintain and develop the long-standing cordial and cooperative relationship with Japan.
- With that, Japan and PIF members have concurred on the recognition that the rule based international order was becoming even more important than ever. They also concurred that they share fundamental values and principles such as freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and the peaceful resolution of disputes, and that they opposed strongly any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion.
- With regard to the discharge of ALPS treated water into the sea, Minister Kamikawa explained that a series of monitorings have shown clearly the safety of the activities, and stated that Japan was committed to providing continuous explanations based on scientific evidence in a highly transparent manner with working closely with the IAEA. PIF members stated that they welcome such dialogue with Japan. Both sides acknowledged the IAEA as an authority of nuclear safety and concurred on the importance of response based on scientific evidence.
- Japan and the PIF Members compeletly shared the sense of urgency on climate change, recognized the importance of promoting WPS in their respective initiatives and concurred that they would continue to work closely on cooperation in the international fora, including in the response to North Korea, such as nuclear and missile issues and the abduction issue, and in efforts to achieve UN Security Council reform.
2. Follow-up of PALM9
- Minister Kamikawa, by mentioning the Japan’s perspective, explained the progress on the cooperation of the five priority areas of PALM 9: COVID-19 Response and Recovery, Sustainable Oceans Based on the Rule of Law, Climate Change and Disaster Resilience, Strengthening Foundation for Sustainable and Resilient Economic Development and People to People Exchanges and Human Resource Development.
- In response, PIF Members highly valued the progress where Japan steadily implemented its commitment in every priority area to promote the cooperation with Pacific Island countries, and expressed their appreciation to the Government and people of Japan.
3. Towards PALM10
- PIF Members explained their priorities for PALM10 in July this year and stated that they would like to continue to cooperate with Japan for the success of PALM10.
- In response, Minister Kamikawa expressed her strong support for the PIF’s “2050 Strategy for Blue Pacific Continent” and regional unity, then stated that she would like to promote cooperation aligned with the priorities of PIF Members, while working intensively on strengthening relations with trust based on the shared values and principles which was reconfirmed in the Ministerial Meeting.
- Minister Kamikawa also expressed that it was important for Japan and PIF members to strengthen their collaborative relationship to work together toward the future based on the ties of trust as a foundation by respecting and learning from each other.
PIF members (Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Fiji, Republic of Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, Republic of Nauru, Niue, Republic of Palau, Independent State of Papua New Guinea, Independent State of Samoa, Solomon Islands, Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu, Republic of Vanuatu, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Australia and New Zealand).