Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : UK supports Pacific Islands Forum’s 2050 Strategy as Minister for the Indo-Pacific visits New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Fiji and Tonga [November 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 8 November 2023.

Indo-Pacific Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan is visiting New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Fiji and Tonga from 8-15 November.

  • Minister for the Indo-Pacific, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, to visit New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Fiji and Tonga to build on partnerships with Pacific Island Countries
  • The Minister will participate in the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum’s Dialogue Partners Day in Rarotonga boosting UK-Pacific collaboration with support for the 2050 Strategy for a Blue Pacific Continent
  • Visit will be the first for FCDO Minister to Tonga since the High Commission re-opened in 2020

The UK will strengthen partnerships with Pacific Islands Forum members to tackle climate change, increase access to finance, and navigate shared global challenges.

As Dialogue Partner to the Pacific Islands Forum, the UK is a steadfast supporter of Pacific priorities. Minister Trevelyan will underscore the UK’s support for the Pacific Islands Forum’s 2050 Strategy for a Blue Pacific Continent and commitment to deliver on regional priorities, like adapting to climate change, strengthening cyber security, and boosting economic development. She will participate in the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum in Rarotonga, in the Cook Islands, on 10 November, which enhances cooperation between the countries and territories of Oceania.

UK Minister for the Indo-Pacific, Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

The UK is committed to strengthening our long-term partnership with our friends in the Pacific, working alongside them to deliver the 2050 Strategy for a Blue Pacific Continent.

We will continue our close collaboration with the Pacific Islands Forum, listening to the voices and experiences of our partners in the Pacific.

Together we will advocate for the issues that matter most, ranging from our work to mitigate the impact of climate change to support for the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) agenda.”

While in New Zealand, the Minister will meet with Pasifika experts and New Zealand businesses to understand their priorities and challenges. The UK-New Zealand trading relationship was worth £3 billion in 2022, with a free trade agreement signed in 2021. The visit comes after New Zealand held general elections in October 2023.

During the visit to Fiji, the Minister will meet local communities and see the best of British-supported businesses promoting innovation in Fiji’s agriculture industry like Tavioka Organics.

In Tonga, the Minister will meet Foreign Minister, Hon. Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu, and members of the Tongan Cabinet to discuss shared challenges like climate change. At an engagement with Chevening and Commonwealth scholars, she will celebrate the people-to-people links between the UK and the Pacific Islands. She will visit the launch of an upcoming project, ‘Climate and Education Sector Initiative’, run by Save the Children Australia and Tonga’s Ministry of Education and funded by Great Challenge Fund and Global Fund for Education, a project to increase climate resilience. As part of this visit she will witness inclusive education for visually impaired students, and a rugby initiative with equipment donated by ‘SOS Kit Aid’, which supports schoolchildren including girls rugby in Tonga.

The UK will continue working closely with Pacific Island countries as part of its long-term commitment to the region and support for a free and open Indo-Pacific.