Remarks made by a senior administration official throughout a phone briefing on the background to Ambassador Thomas Greenfield’s journey to the Cook dinner Islands

Remarks made by a senior administration official throughout a phone briefing on the background to Ambassador Thomas Greenfield’s journey to the Cook dinner Islands


Senior administrative official
November 6, 2023

As delivered

Admin: Good night everybody. Welcome to our briefing on Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield’s journey to the Pacific Islands Discussion board Leaders’ Assembly in Rarotonga, Cook dinner Islands. For info solely and never for notification, we’ve got with us at this time (a senior administrative official). What you hear on this name might be attributed to a senior administration official. This invitation is prohibited till its finish. So I’ll hand it over to (senior administrative official).

Senior administrative officer: welcome all. Good night and thanks for leaping on the decision. As beforehand reported, Ambassador Thomas Greenfield will lead the US delegation to the 52nd Pacific Islands Discussion board Leaders Assembly in Rarotonga, Cook dinner Islands, November 8-10, later this week. The ambassador would be the first US Cupboard official to go to Rarotonga since the US established formal diplomatic relations with the Cook dinner Islands final September.

The Biden-Harris Administration has labored to raise America’s diplomatic, growth, and safety partnership with Pacific Island nations throughout the board. Amongst our many shared accomplishments, we dedicated to working with Congress to supply greater than $8 billion in new funding and applications for the Pacific Islands. Now we have, as I simply talked about, acknowledged the Cook dinner Islands and Niue as impartial and sovereign nations. Now we have opened embassies within the Solomon Islands and Tonga, and we intend to open one other in Vanuatu in 2024. Now we have opened USAID, USAID, the Pacific Regional Mission in Fiji, and a rustic consultant workplace in Papua New Guinea. We signed related financial help agreements with our three companions within the settlement.

In management – properly, let me simply say on this administration as properly, the President has led this engagement with the Pacific Islands. President Biden hosted the primary U.S.-Pacific Islands Summit in September 2022, and simply final September the President hosted the Pacific Islands Discussion board Summit on the White Home on September 25. At that assembly, as a part of the occasions related to that assembly, we introduced that Ambassador Thomas Greenfield would signify the US at this upcoming summit, the one which shall be held later this week.

I must also point out that final yr the US issued the first-ever US Pacific Partnership Technique, which has guided our engagement, and our rising engagement, with Pacific island nations throughout the board.

Ambassador Thomas Greenfield will lead a powerful US delegation that features officers from USAID, the US Coast Guard, the Peace Corps, the State Division, the Nationwide Safety Council, and different high-level US companies and departments. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield’s journey will assist strengthen the US’ enduring high-level dedication and partnership with the Pacific Islands.

Let me say just a few phrases concerning the journey after which we are able to reply your questions.

Whereas on the Pacific Islands Discussion board Summit, Ambassador Thomas Greenfield will reaffirm the US’ dedication to catalyzing worldwide cooperation to advance the Sustainable Improvement Targets and different vital points, together with addressing the local weather disaster and addressing sustainable growth, infrastructure, and different Pacific island wants. international locations, regional safety points, amongst different matters.

This journey and the conferences through which Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield will take part will construct on the concentrate on these points, particularly the Sustainable Improvement Targets that we noticed final September in New York on the UN Common Meeting, together with President Biden’s remarks earlier than the UN Common Meeting. The Common Meeting and within the conferences we’ve got had on the sidelines, together with with Secretary Blinken, Ambassador Thomas Greenfield, and others. So, there’s actual momentum coming into this set of conferences primarily based on our elevated engagement over simply the previous couple of weeks and months.

In our conferences with Pacific Island leaders and stakeholders, the Ambassador will emphasize the necessary position that the Pacific Islands Discussion board, as we name it, the Pacific Islands Discussion board, performs in strengthening cooperation on these urgent challenges, and selling peace and prosperity within the Pacific area. The Ambassador may also talk about with our Pacific Island companions alternatives for cooperation to defend the UN Constitution and advance different areas of mutual curiosity and customary resolve.

En path to the Cook dinner Islands, the Ambassador may also cease in Hawaii, the place she’s going to be a part of Governor Josh Inexperienced in chairing the inaugural assembly of the Hawaii SDG Youth Council. Throughout this assembly, the Ambassador will hear from Native Hawaiian youth about options to deal with the Sustainable Improvement Targets. It’ll even have the chance to validate US management within the Indo-Pacific area.

So that is only a sketch of the journey. It’s clear that we are going to have extra to say about Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield’s agenda and all of the work that her delegation will undertake throughout the upcoming summit and the conferences on its sidelines. However why do not I cease there and sit up for your questions.

Operator or employee: Once more, to queue to ask a query, please press 1 then 0 in your telephone keypad at the moment. We do not have callers lining as much as ask questions. Now we have a query now coming from Mark Daalder from the newsroom. Please proceed.

a query: Good day. I am a correspondent in New Zealand. One of many matters anticipated to be mentioned on the Public Funding Discussion board is Port Vila’s name for a fossil fuel-free zone within the Pacific. What’s the US’ place on this?

Senior administrative officer: Let me say just a few phrases about that. I feel we’re anticipated to have a really sturdy dialogue about environmental points and the local weather disaster throughout the board, and we all know that this shall be a theme that comes up in all of our conversations. I do know there shall be devoted matters over the course of the Public Funding Discussion board to speak about not simply what we’ve got completed to this point however what we anticipate to do, not simply within the Pacific Islands however throughout the board.

Now we have completed our greatest to maintain the objective of limiting world warming to 1.5°C inside attain. We’re eager to accomplice with the Pacific Islands to lift world ambition, particularly from different main emitters whose Nationally Decided Contributions beneath the Paris Settlement usually are not but aligned with the 1.5 diploma goal.

We additionally acknowledge that the impacts of the local weather disaster are already right here and being felt, which is why the US continues to work with Pacific Island international locations and different weak international locations world wide to construct resilience to excessive climate occasions and different climate-related occasions. Impacts, reminiscent of sea degree rise. There are a selection of investments that we are going to have the chance to speak about extra, together with capability constructing, catastrophe threat discount, and constructing in the direction of an formidable set of local weather conferences to be held later within the yr.

Now we have already introduced greater than $30 million in investments over the previous yr to assist constructing capability to supply and use info to stop and scale back the influence of climate-related disasters.

So, I feel this shall be a significant focus of the conversations that Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield could have over the course of this week, and we need to hear instantly from Pacific Island leaders about a number of the concepts they’ve about how we are able to deepen and broaden this work collectively. extra.

Operator or employee: Once more, you probably have extra questions, please press 1-0 at the moment. We have no different callers within the queue to ask questions.

Senior administrative officer: nice. Effectively, look, we’ll sit up for working with all of you as you proceed on this journey. If something occurs alongside the best way, do not hesitate to achieve out to us.

Admin: Thanks (senior administrative official). This concludes at this time’s name. As a reminder, what you heard on this name may be attributed to a senior administration official. The ban has now been lifted. thanks all. We respect you taking the time to hitch us at this time.


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