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The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s (PIFS) Smaller Island States (SIS) adviser Tasha Siaosi visited Rarotonga last week.
The Cook Islands is one of eight members of the Pacific Forum SIS grouping which include the smallest members of the Forum in population and land mass.
At the SIS Leaders Meeting in Nauru last month, SIS Leaders Including Henry Puna committed to revitalising the identity and efforts of the SIS sub-grouping within the Forum through The Blue Pacific narrative.
During her visit Siaosi met with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI), who act as focal point for PIFS in the Cook Islands. She also met with Joseph Ngamata of the Cook Islands Airport Authority to gain insight into the Cook Islands experience with upper airspace management, one of the priorities SIS committed to explore at their meeting last year.
“The SIS grouping is a valuable advocacy mechanism for Cook Islands interests within the broader Forum membership and beyond,” said Antonina Browne, MFAI Pacific Division Foreign Affairs Officer.“We welcome the visit of Ms Siaosi as affirmation of the PIFS Secretariat commitment to strengthening collaboration, including sharing of SIS country experiences in areas such as upper airspace management, labour mobility and development.”
“The Cook Islands is a valuable member of the SIS sub-grouping and has been a strong advocate of SIS initiatives in various regional and international fora” said Ms Siaosi. “The Cook Islands experience regarding upper airspace management will be shared with the SIS membership. More importantly, we look forward to the contribution by Cook Islands towards the Mid-Term Review of the SIS Strategy next year as well as welcoming on board a new SIS Officer,” said Browne.
SOURCE: COOK ISALN
Pacific Islands News Association
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