Governor Togiola joins Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the 24th Post-Forum
RAROTONGA, Cook Islands— Gov. Togiola T.A. Tulafono attended the Pacific Island Forum in Rarotonga, Cook Islands as an Observer. In his address, the Governor expressed his gratitude to the U.S. Secretary of State, Hon. Hillary Rodham Clinton for her support of American Samoa’s application to become an observer country of the Forum.
He also spoke at length about the theme of this year’s forum “Large Ocean Island States – the Pacific Challenge.”
Togiola was also invited as part of the US Delegation that was led by Secretary Clinton.
During the 24th Post-Forum Dialogue Plenary, Clinton said the US Government intends to be present in the region “for the long run.” She also reaffirmed the Obama administration’s commitment to its engagement in Asia Pacific with an equal emphasis on the Pacific part of that phrase. The Secretary also reported that $25 million is available for Climate Change to build resilience for coastal communities to withstand extreme weather, not only in the short-term, but over the long term as they cope and contend with rising sea levels. The funds are earmarked for drafting a long-term strategy for coping with climate change.
Togiola and First Lady Mary Ann were also invited to Secretary Clinton’s presentation on U.S.- Pacific Island Peace and Security Partnership. The focus was on increasing US presence in the Asia Pacific Region. The Secretary reported on the US financial commitment towards increasing security “so the United States ships can be of even greater help in preventing illegal, unregulated fishing,” and toward cleaning up the nuclear mess left behind after World War II.
POLYNESIAN LEADERS GROUP
The Polynesian Leaders Group signed the Climate Change Statement presented to them at the PLG meeting by Togiola, which calls for cooperation and collaboration among these Pacific island nations’ scientists, educators community members and leaders in confronting climate change and its effects on people and marine life, though the development and implementation of proactive, sustainable ocean resource management policies.
The resolution also states that PLG members will work to mitigate and adapt to climate change related challenges through the use of both innovative scientific interventions and traditional ocean management practices and that the PLG will work to coordinate the region’s response to climate change.
Source: Governor’s Office media release