Former Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna has been appointed as the new Pacific Islands Forum’s Secretary-General. Puna now takes over from incumbent Secretary-General Dame Meg Taylor.
Dame Meg Taylor was appointed Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum in August 2014 and became the first woman to hold this post.
Dame Meg Taylor was commended for stellar leadership and guidance to the Pacific Islands Forum on regional issues over the past 6 years and wished her well in her future endeavours.
Puna assumes the position of Secretary-General at a critical time in the region’s history and will need to guide the region through the COVID-19 recovery.
Last night Pacific Islands Forum Leaders concluded their Special Leaders Retreat and top of their agenda this year is the COVID-19 pandemic including the distribution of vaccines to the region.
In a statement, the forum acknowledged the region’s efforts to date to manage the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Pacific region, including through the establishment and operationalization of the Pacific Humanitarian Pathway on COVID-19.
The forum also welcomed the significant support from Australia and New Zealand to secure vaccines for all Pacific people and the multilateral and bilateral partnerships working to ensure one hundred percent coverage.