Pacific Island Leaders to Meet South Korean Prime Minister to Strengthen Climate Action

Climate change adaptation strategies are at the forefront of discussions planned for next week's third summit between South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Pacific island leaders scheduled to gather in Seoul. Additionally highlighting geopolitical significance across an East Asian region dominated by China was also given priority consideration during preparations leading up to this event.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

With China's increasing economic clout drawing attention from Western allies certain it is part of its security ambitions; these countries have taken steps towards enhancing engagement among developed nations with small island states. The inaugural Korea-Pacific Islands Summit is an excellent example of this effort.

Richard Marles, the Defence Minister of Australia, will participate in this event, which represents a collaborative initiative between South Korea and 18 members of the Pacific Island Forum.

During these deliberations aimed at creating a more secure region, leaders are expected to highlight shared values with a focus on advancing mutual interests for a prosperous and resilient Pacific.

Marles has planned bilateral meetings with South Korea's Minister of National Defense Lee Jong-sup while reflecting mainly on their trade partnership that emphasizes gas and coal, particularly since Australia constitutes South Korea's third-largest export market.

Climate change challenges remain significant threats to developmental agendas within the Pacific Island Forum bloc members, as seen by their reliance mainly on international partners' developmental aid such as Australia and New Zealand. 

With India increasing its support during the summit with leaders from several Pacific island nations based in Papua New Guinea and signing up for more defense agreements during other related engagements as well in the region, bolstering strategic partnerships among major economies has become a significant endorsement of priorities according to Henry Puna.

Leaders attending next week's talks primarily focusing on climate change adaptation strategies alongside investing policies towards protecting fisheries across various communities holds promising prospects for all parties concerned towards achieving sustainable development post-pandemic recovery periods.

The vast expanse of the Pacific islands harbors the largest tuna fishery in the world. Since 1958, South Korea's long-distance fleet has been casting its nets into these waters. As per license schemes that follow forum member regulations, they were able to reel in an impressive 255,226 tonnes of tuna only this year. Furthermore, French representatives from their overseas territories located within this region will also attend a meeting hosted in Seoul.

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