South Korea, Pacific leaders agree to bolster cooperation on climate crisis, other issues


South Korea and the leaders of Pacific island nations on Monday agreed to expand cooperation in a variety of sectors, including the response to the climate crisis and economic development.

The agreement was reached during an inaugural summit held between South Korea and Pacific island nations in Seoul, according to a summary of a joint statement provided by the South Korean presidency.

Seoul was represented by President Yoon Suk Yeol, Seoul-based Yonhap News reported.

This was the third summit in the past two weeks where besides Yoon, the Pacific leaders met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The two-day summit is being held through Tuesday under the theme “Navigating towards Co-Prosperity: Strengthening Cooperation with the Blue Pacific,” with the participation of 12 leaders and five minister-level officials from 17 of the 18 members of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), an intergovernmental body aimed at enhancing cooperation among island countries in the region.

The 17 participating PIF members were Papua New Guinea, Fiji, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Tonga, Palau, Niue, Nauru, Kiribati, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Australia, New Zealand, French Polynesia, and New Caledonia.

The Federated States of Micronesia was unable to attend due to a typhoon, according to Yoon’s office.

“The crisis of climate change, natural disasters, food, health, oceans, and fisheries, which is directly linked to the survival and prosperity of Pacific island nations, can only be overcome through solidarity and cooperation,” Yoon said while addressing the summit.

In a joint statement, the leaders agreed to work together to strengthen the rules-based regional and international order, while also agreeing on comprehensive security cooperation in the maritime, climate, energy, cyber, health, and other areas.

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