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When your entire country is defined so much by a runway that runs from one end of the country to the other, on the main atoll island, it is indeed a huge task taking on one of the largest regional forums in the Pacific when it comes to hosting.
Forums of the past, in well to do countries, have bordered along the lines of a certain degree of opulence along with the typical grounded roots of Pacific culture and relationship that cascade all throughout the frontier of such events.
The 11,000 populated country has sprung together to achieve a Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), that seems a necessary opportunity beyond the benefits of economics, fame, and tourism.
It is just plain survival, and a serious one at that.
It has been 35 years in 1984, since the tiny island country hosted such an event, at a time when hosting such events did not entail the hype of the current phenomenon of rising seas.
PIF Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor said the amount of effort put in by the atoll nation hosting close to 800 guests, is brave considering the delegates represent a 7 per cent increase in the population of the country.
“It takes courage for a small country like this with people with very big and generous hearts that have welcomed us all and want us to feel that we are very much part of their home this week,” Dame Meg said.
“I think that Tuvalu has played a very prominent role in the climate change issue and the vulnerability of these atolls and for all the atoll states particularly in the Pacific.
“They have always articulated the position of the vulnerability, but also the courage that many of these countries in terms of looking forward to sustained livelihoods here.”
She said the same sentiments are shared also for other countries such as the Republic of Marshal Islands, Palau and Kiribati.
“So Tuvalu taking on this task is mammoth. Everything won’t be perfect but it will be with the warmth and generosity of island people and I hope we can all make the most of it and contribute to it,” Dame Meg said.
“I think we are at the real crossroads in terms of the impact of climate in this region and our leaders know that of course and they will speak to it.
“Our populations may not be vast, but our populations are made up of people who care about this ocean, who care about their islands and about their people.
“I think that this is really important that this is emphasised.”
Tuvalu has engaged much of its public and private sector with key businesses and partners assisting in a big way.
Major construction of accommodation was done through Taiwanese support and the Australian government’s immense assistance with logistics through the Australian Defence Force.
Tuvalu Prime Minister, Enele Sopoaga, while thanking the PIF secretariat for its help thanked the support from partners.
He said since Tuvalu last hosted the PIF in 1984, the nation will review at the end of the 50th meeting an evaluation of where it is in terms of the ultimate goal of regionalism.
SOUCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
Media Helping Media