PALIKIR, Pohnpei—During the week of October 24th to October 28th, 2022, the Honorable Kandhi A. Elieisar—Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)—attended the 5th Korea-Pacific Islands Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, alongside representatives from the Republic of Korea, Cook Islands, the Republic of Fiji, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Nauru, Niue, the Republic of Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, the Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu, the Republic of Vanuatu, and the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum.
Operating under the theme “Vision for the Resilient Blue Pacific: Freedom, Peace, and Prosperity,” Secretary Elieisar and other attending representatives engaged in broad discussions on ways to further strengthen collaboration between the Pacific and Korea in areas such as economic development, Climate Change and disaster risk and resilience, ocean governance, maritime affairs and fisheries, and people-to-people exchanges.
From the FSM Government’s perspective, an essential outcome of the meeting included the Republic of Korea’s willingness to align regional development cooperation with the vision and priorities of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. Other key outcomes included the effective implementation of projects funded by the Korea-Pacific Island Forum Cooperation Fund, such as the “Republic of Korea-Pacific Islands Trade and Tourism Promotion Project” and the “Enhancing E-commerce Opportunities for Pacific Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises” Project.
Citizens of the FSM may appreciate Korea’s commitment to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, which is occurring at the same time that Korea has committed to
increase contributions to Climate Financing. “We welcome Korea’s Climate Change action, including its commitments to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050,” Secretary Elieisar said in his intervention statement on Climate Change, Disasters, & Environment. “We call on Korea, and all World Leaders, to recognize Climate Change as the single greatest threat to the Planet, and to take necessary action in line with this.”
It may be of further interest to citizens of the FSM that the Korean and Pacific Ministers agreed to work together to achieve a comprehensive agreement on fisheries subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective Special and Differential Treatment for developing and least-developed countries should be an integral part of those negotiations.
Consistent with the FSM’s and, debatably, the Blue Pacific Continent’s, view that we are a friend to all and enemy to none, and particularly sensitive to the importance of peace and stability, the Ministers shared the view that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (i.e. North Korea) and its nuclear and missile programs represent a threat to not only the Korean Peninsula but also the entire Indo-Pacific region and World. In this regard, the Pacific Islands’ Ministers, including Secretary Elieisar, expressed strong support for the Republic of Korea’s “Audacious Initiative” for a denuclearized, peaceful, and prosperous Korean Peninsula.
Ministers agreed that the 1st Korea-Pacific Islands Summit, which intends to convene at the Head of Government/Head of State level, will occur in 2023, although the FSM Government is not aware of a concrete (or even tentative) date for this meeting at the time of this release. It is the view of the FSM Government that it will be a demonstration of respect if Korea, like the United States of America before it at the US-Pacific Islands Summit, were to ensure an expanded scope of participation at the 1st Korea-Pacific Islands Summit to be inclusive of all members of the Pacific Islands Forum.
Citizens and residents of the FSM with a particular interest in the 5th Korea-Pacific Islands’ Foreign Ministers’ Meeting are encouraged to review the consensus-approved Joint Statement, which can be found here: https://gov.fm/files/Joint%20Communiques/final_Joint_Statement_5th_ROK-PICs_FM_Meeting_26_October_clean.pdf