Hon. Shirley Botchwey at the Pacific Islands Forum in The Cook Islands

Statement delivered at PIFLM52 in Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Kia Orana,

Your Excellency, Mr. Mark Brown, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands and Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum,

Excellencies, Forum Leaders,

Secretary General of the Forum,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am truly honoured and grateful to be invited to join you at the 52nd  Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in Rarotonga.


Ghana identifies with the theme for the Forum as it underscores the need to continue to forge meaningful partnerships and work closely together with relevant stakeholders to deliver prosperity for the peoples of the South Pacific and beyond. 

Our world today is facing seismic changes and nowhere is this more evident than in the Pacific Island countries. Multilateralism remains a vital condition for peace and security and for sustainable development. Enhanced regional approaches are indispensable for reconstituting effective multilateralism. I commend Forum Leaders for your leadership on the agenda before us.

As you may know, I am a candidate for the post of next Secretary-General of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth is an essential part of the multilateral architecture we look to to complement our efforts at the regional level and I acknowledge the presence of Secretary-General Baroness Patricia Scotland.

Cyber threats endanger our countries, especially democracies. Strengthening cyber security is an essential part of building the resilience of Pacific Island States. While all countries face many of these same threats, yours are compounded by unique challenges.

That is why the Commonwealth must continue to be a champion for small island developing nations.  The devastating effects of climate change, which can be  clearly seen in your beautiful islands, must be our overriding concern, even as we deal with other challenges. As the expression goes, we must be able to chew gum and walk at the same time.


The Pacific must be a major part of any vision for sustainable development globally, including global peace and security. Ghana looks forward to working closely with you in the years to come.