US in Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders

U.S. Engagement in the Pacific Islands: 2022 Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders

Washington, DC (STL.News) The US Department of State released the following statement:

The United States is a proud Pacific nation with a long coastline, a state, and territories in the Pacific.  We have deep and longstanding ties to the countries of the Pacific: our neighbors, allies, and friends.  The Pacific Islands are an essential part of the Indo-Pacific region.  Our histories and futures are inextricably linked, and we are deeply committed to the security and prosperity of the region.  Just as we faced historical challenges together, we will address current and future challenges together, including by strengthening our shared democratic values and developing our economic links to combat the climate crisis, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to protect the free and open Pacific.

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the Pacific Islands at this year’s Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders (PICL) convened by the East-West Center’s Pacific Islands Development Program in Honolulu, Hawai’i.  The Deputy Secretary was pleased to lead a high-level U.S. interagency delegation, including representatives from the National Security Council, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).  At the PICL, the Deputy Secretary highlighted a range of ongoing areas of cooperation with the Pacific Islands and announced several new programs that will provide assistance for governance, people-to-people programs, climate resilience, and information and communications technology. President Joe Biden will host the Pacific Island Country summit later this month to advance a more resilient pacific region.

The United States has provided over $1.5 billion for the Pacific Islands over the past decade.  Under the Indo-Pacific Strategy, we will continue to broaden our efforts to partner with Pacific Island Countries (PICs) and territories on their most pressing challenges, including economic and environmental resilience, water and food security, health security, maritime domain awareness, and strengthening democratic institutions and good governance.  Through the Administration’s Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, we will also expand our efforts to deploy secure digital connectivity; build climate resilience in the region as part of PREPARE, the Administration’s cornerstone international adaptation initiative; strengthen global health systems and health security; and advance gender equality and equity.  These programs and initiatives have continued even as the COVID-19 pandemic has made travel in the region difficult.

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