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Biden will be hosting a second summit with leaders from Pacific islands at the White House on Monday.


President Joe Biden of the United States will hold a second meeting with leaders from the Pacific Islands Forum at the White House on Monday. This is part of his efforts to increase involvement with a region where the US is competing for power with China.

On Monday and Tuesday, the White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced that a summit would be held with the 18-member forum.

During the summit, Mr. Biden plans to reaffirm the United States’ dedication to our mutual regional goals with the Pacific island nations. The statement also notes that he will work to strengthen collaboration with them in various fields.

According to the statement, the tasks to be addressed are addressing the climate emergency, promoting economic progress, advocating for sustainable development, enhancing health protection, combatting unlawful and unreported fishing, and expanding interpersonal connections.

The announcement mentioned that the summit would continue from the first meeting between the two parties in September of last year.

Last year, President Biden organized a summit with 14 Pacific island countries where his administration committed to assisting them in resisting China’s “economic coercion.” He also vowed to collaborate more closely with allies and partners to meet their needs.

The head of the Pacific Islands Forum, Henry Puna, addressed an event in New York on Monday before the annual UN General Assembly. He expressed his hope for the summit to result in tangible measures regarding pressing concerns such as climate change and the region’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Mr. Puna, the Pacific island region, which was once overlooked strategically, has now become a topic of strategic importance, competition, and “manipulation.” This refers to the ongoing geopolitical competition between the United States and China for influence in the region.

The Pacific island countries stated that they are open to collaborating with any partner who is willing to work with them, instead of working around them.

At the same event, Mark Brown, who is both the prime minister of the Cook Islands and the current chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, expressed that the region is hoping for concrete involvement from the US at the Washington summit. This involvement would aid in economic growth by enhancing transportation connections and promoting trade.

Mr. Brown stated that they are looking for substantial contributions from the US to the Green Climate Fund during a pledging conference in Germany next month.

Palau’s President Surangel Whipps Jr addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, stating that climate change is the biggest obstacle in our pursuit of sustainable development.

As a child, he talked about an island where he used to fish that is currently mostly underwater due to the rising sea levels. This has resulted in turtles laying their eggs in a tidal area where they are not likely to survive.

According to Reuters, the Pacific’s small island nations are in need of easier access to climate financing. This is especially important as their economies have been affected by a decrease in tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increased expenses resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.