1. Minister of Foreign Affairs Chung Eui-yong virtually held the 4th Korea-Pacific Islands* Foreign Ministers’ Meeting** with foreign ministers and representatives of fourteen Pacific Island Countries (PICs) on November 16.
* Fourteen Pacific Island Countries (PICs): Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Fiji, Republic of Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Nauru, Niue, Republic of Palau, Independent State of Papua New Guinea, Independent State of Samoa, Solomon Islands, Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu, and Republic of Vanuatu
** The Korea-Pacific Islands Foreign Ministers’ Meeting takes place every three years. The first meeting was held in May 2011, the second meeting in November 2014 and the third meeting in December 2017.
2. The 4th Korea-Pacific Islands Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held under the theme of “Partnership for a Resilient Pacific and a Co-prosperous Future.” Minister Chung and representatives from the PICs discussed in detail the progress and accomplishments in cooperation projects in the areas of development cooperation, climate and environment, and maritime affairs and fisheries. In addition, the two sides discussed further steps to expand cooperation in the future.
3. (Korea-PICs Relations) In order to take the Korea-PICs relations to the next level, the two sides agreed to elevate the Korea-PICs dialogue mechanism to the summit level and shorten the host cycle of the Ministerial Meeting from three to two years.
° The two sides reaffirmed that people-to-people exchanges and economic interaction between the ROK and the PICs serve as the basis for building solid ties of partnership and decided to actively seek ways to boost exchanges in trade and tourism between the ROK and the PICs, which have been restricted due to COVID-19.
° The PICs expressed appreciation for the ROK’s financial aid and contribution worth about 1.33million dollars to support the PICs' COVID-19 response.
° In particular, Minister Chung and Dalton Tagelagi, Premier and Foreign Minister of Niue, agreed to establish official diplomatic ties to develop the bilateral relationship between Korea and Niue and to continue consultations on related procedure.
4. (Development cooperation) Minister Chung affirmed that the Korean government will continue to proceed with various cooperation projects in response to the PICs' demand so as to contribute to the PICs’ sustainable economic and social development and capacity-building.
° Minister Chung shared the Korean government’s plan to scale up Green ODA to the PICs to promote green growth and capacity-building for responding to and adapting to climate change.
° The PICs side acknowledged the Korean government’s ODA in a wide range of areas including health care, climate change response, and energy, and also noted with gratitude the support through the Korea-Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Cooperation Fund for various cooperation projects such as controlling illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, predicting climate, and promoting trade and tourism.
5. (Climate and Environment) The two sides highlighted the need for close international cooperation to respond to climate change, noting that climate change is an urgent problem that faces the international society as a whole. Minister Chung explained the Korean government’s efforts to play an active role in this field, such as declaring its 2050 Carbon Neutrality commitment and enhancing the 2030 NDC target by 40%.
° Placing an emphasis on the importance of keeping the Pacific region free of environmental pollution by plastics, radioactive waste, and other pollutants, the two sides recalled the concerns on the potential significant threat of nuclear contamination and reiterated the necessity of transparent information-sharing and sufficient consultations with the concerned parties.
6. (Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) The two sides reaffirmed that the effective conservation and management of marine and fisheries resources are vital for the sustainable development and economic growth of the PICs, and agreed upon continuing the mutually beneficial partnership on maritime affairs and fisheries.
° The PICs side noted the enhanced cooperation between the ROK and the PICs in various fields, including the development of a monitoring system to control IUU fishing, marine environment management, building maritime infrastructure such as harbor facilities, and ocean thermal energy power plants. The PICs side expressed particular appreciation for the project of World Fisheries University (WFU) initiated by the Korean government for building the developing countries’ capacity on fisheries and aquaculture.
7. (Regional Situation) Minister Chung explained the Korean government’s efforts to advance inter-Korean dialogue, engagement, and cooperation and its proposal to declare an end to the Korean War in order to achieve complete denuclearization and establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, and the PICs expressed their support for them.
8. This meeting served as an opportunity for Korea and the PICs to reaffirm their will to jointly respond to global challenges and strengthen communication in the areas of common interest. Against this background, the Korean government will continue to maintain the momentum of dialogue and cooperation for the enhancement of resilience and a co-prosperous future of the Pacific region.