Marape attends Israel-Pacific Island Leaders’ Summit
Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP, attended roundtable discussions at the Israel-Pacific Island Leaders’ Summit in Nadi yesterday.
The meeting is the first ever meeting with the State of Israel and Pacific Island Leaders, to reaffirm diplomatic relations between Israel and Pacific Island States.
Discussions in the meetings focused around challenges in achieving sustainable development of the region in agriculture, water management, food security, public health and disaster management.
In his intervention points he acknowledged the Government of Fiji through the Prime Minister Hon. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama for hosting the first meeting and thanked the people and Government of Israel for the initiative to have discussions on issues of mutual concern with leaders of 16 Pacific Island countries who are all members of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF).
Prime Minister Marape said although there are sixteen countries, when there are issues of common interest, their voices are combined as one through the PIF." And some of the common issues that we face every day include climate change and rising sea levels.
“We may be small in land mass but the entire Pacific put together, is a big space that we occupy on planet earth."
In the ocean that we share, we also have vast resources.“Possibly 50% of the world’s tuna supply are caught in our waters,” Prime Minister Marape said.
The Prime Minister said Papua New Guineans are also known to be the first people to go into agriculture 10,000 years ago and today, with Israel having advanced in agricultural technologies, we would like to embrace those technologies as well.
“PNG values the agricultural expertise and support from Israel and will continue to work together in this sector,” he said.
"We also welcome Israel scholarship programs in the field of agriculture.
Prime Minister Marape is very appreciative of the Government of Israel's offer to train 100 professionals in Israel in areas of agriculture, technology and security.
Papua New Guinea established relations with Israel in May 1978 and Papua New Guinea has benefited from Israeli expertise in the field of agriculture including citrus farming.