Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
Extended Sale! Save on premium data with Claim 60% OFF

Pacific island countries to hold second summit next week with Biden

Published Sep 18, 2023 04:27PM ET Updated Sep 18, 2023 05:19PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Forum of the Pacific Islands' Secretary General Henry Puna speaks during the High Level Segment session of the One Ocean Summit, which seeks to raise the international community's ambitions to protect sealife, cut plastic pollution and tackle

By David Brunnstrom and Simon Lewis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Pacific island countries will meet with President Joe Biden next week for a second summit with the United States, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum Henry Puna and a senior State Department official said on Monday.

Puna made the announcement at an event hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in New York ahead of the annual U.N. General Assembly.

Richard Verma, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, confirmed at the same event the summit would be held next week, but did not give a specific date. U.S. officials had previously said Biden would host the leaders in September.

"Currently our senior officials are in negotiations with Washington over the outcomes that we would like to see when we meet with President Biden next week," Puna said.

"I'm very hopeful that those outcomes will translate into concrete actions moving forward, because right now, there's a lot of issues and challenges confronting our Pacific region. Apart from climate change, there's our economic recovery from COVID-19," Puna added.

Puna said the Pacific island region had gone from a period of strategic neglect just a decade ago to become a subject of strategic interest, competition and "manipulation" today, a reference to the geopolitical rivalry for influence in the region between the United States and China.

"We must realize that the strategic interest and attention we enjoy today will not last forever, and we must capitalize on it in a manner that will ensure sustainable gains for our region and for our people, for decades to come," Puna said.

He said the stance of the Pacific island countries had been clear: "we will engage with any partner who is willing to work with us, rather than around us."

Mark Brown, prime minister of the Cook Islands and current chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, said at the event the region was looking to the Washington summit for "tangible" U.S. engagement that would help economic regrowth through improved transportation links and increased trade.

With climate change the "single greatest existential threat" to the low lying nations, they also sought strong U.S. advocacy and leadership on the issue and significant U.S. contributions to the Green Climate Fund at a pledging conference in Germany next month, Brown said.

Verma said Washington was "determined to be an enduring partner to the islands of the Indo-Pacific - determined to be responsive to your priorities, determined to help you tackle 21st century challenges and make the most of new opportunities, and determined to do it with all of you together."

He added that the United States "will never lose sight of our common vision for this region - an Indo-Pacific that is free and open, resilient and connected, prosperous and secure."

Biden hosted a first summit with 14 Pacific island nations a year ago, at which his administration pledged to help stave off China's "economic coercion," and he promised to work harder with allies and partners to address islanders' needs.

Pacific island countries to hold second summit next week with Biden

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your profile, will be public on and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email