‘In Your Hands’

Fifteen primary school students presented copies of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent to Pacific Islands Forum leaders yesterday.
15 Jul 2022 11:31
‘In Your Hands’
Students of Yat-Sen and Draiba primary schools present the Pacific Islands Forum leaders a copy each of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat headquarters in Suva on July 14, 2022. Photo: Leon lord

Fifteen primary school students presented copies of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent to Pacific Islands Forum leaders yesterday.

Their presence was a timely reminder that the decisions they make today will have an impact on their future. The students attend Yat Sen Primary School and Draiba Primary School.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Samoa’s Fiame Naomi Mata’afa and Cook Islands Foreign Secretary Tepaeru Herrmann were all smiles as the Year 4 students walked by to present them with the 2050 Strategy.


Most of the leaders were emotional. By 2050, most of the students would be close to 40 years old. The 2050 Strategy would ensure that the Blue Pacific, along with its resources, will continue to sustain them.

Teachers who accompanied the students said it was the first time they were called to be part of such an event. Initially, they had taken it lightly, but as the event drew closer, they realised its importance and its reality for the future of the children. It was also a historic moment for the 15 students

Yat-Sen Primary School’s Year 4 student, Moira Emberson, has her sights on becoming an author one day. She was excited to be part of the event at the PIF Secretariat headquarters in Suva.


“Once I walked into the conference room, I got a little nervous and when I saw the Prime Ministers that I gave the book to, I was proud of myself,” she said.

A similar sentiment was shared by Phillip O’Connor, a Year 4 student of Draiba Primary School.

He said he was nervous but also overjoyed to be part of the event and meeting with the Pacific Is- land leaders.
Outgoing Chair and Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the 2050 Strategy was unanimously endorsed.

He said Fiji assumed the Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum in August 2021 and with it, the leadership of the Political Dialogue Mechanism between the Micronesian Presidents’ Summit and the Pacific Islands Forum was established to explore a resolution to the withdrawal of the Micronesian countries.


“Today, 11 months following Fiji’s assumption of this role, I am pleased to announce that we are making positive strides towards restoring the solidarity of our Forum Family.”

He said unity was the overriding focus of their discussions for the 2050 Strategy and the Review of Regional Architecture.

Reflecting on the 50 years of regionalism, he and the Forum Leaders recognised that “we are in unprecedented times”.


“As we face down a multitude of complex challenges across the region, we recognise our strength in numbers. It is without any doubt that we stand our best chance to address these common challenges together as a family.”

He said the leaders recognised that political will and leadership would be integral to the achievement of the vision
outlined in the 2050 strategy.

“The strategy will be our overarching blueprint to advance Pacific regionalism for the next three decades.”

He added that in the coming weeks, officials would begin work on an implementation plan for this visionary political commitment.





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