Leaders from 14 countries representing the Pacific Islands met in Honolulu, Hawaii to convene Pu’uhonua: The Pacific Way Forward, the 12th Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders, Sept 12.
The Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders is a multi-day leadership conference that strengthens and promotes interagency and multi-national cooperation within the Indo-Pacific region. This conference is a key opportunity for Pacific Island leaders to partner together and address pressing challenges, including economic and environmental resilience, water and food security, health security, maritime domain awareness, and strengthening democratic institutions and good governance.
Leaders representing the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Tonga, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, French Polynesia, Commonwealth Northern Mariana Islands, Fiji, and the United States, gathered together to corroborate ongoing engagements in the Pacific Islands and build vital connections within and beyond the Indo-Pacific region.
U.S. Coast Guard District Fourteen Rear Admiral (Radm) Michael Day provided key insight on the vital relationships the Coast Guard holds with partner nations and the crucial role the Coast Guard provides its Indo-Pacific allies. This cooperation promotes the 11 bilateral shiprider agreements with Pacific Island Countries in addition to the Coast Guard’s more traditional missions such as maritime law enforcement, safeguarding navigation, life, and property, and humanitarian aid. These shiprider agreements ensure resource security and maritime sovereignty within the Indo-Pacific.
“Listening to the leaders at this conference reminded me of the important role the Coast Guard can play in supporting a rules based order in the Pacific,” said Radm Michael Day, district commander for the Coast Guard’s Fourteenth District. “When done the pacific way, governance in this region will continue to dissuade malign actors and encourage a care for our shared resources.”
U.S. Coast Guard District Fourteen’s Operation Blue Pacific is one example of the U.S. commitment to advancing a peaceful and sovereign Indo-Pacific. Through Operation Blue Pacific, the Coast Guard has strengthened its relationships with Pacific Island Countries by supporting governments that may be threatened or weakened by powers that challenge rules-based international order through inter-state aggression, economic coercion, maritime hybrid warfare, gray zone activities, and overreaching territorial claims.
The Coast Guard collaborates with its Indo-Pacific partners with patrols that enforce their laws to protect fisheries and other natural resources within their EEZs, combat illegal fishing and other maritime threats to the Pacific, and perform search and rescue and humanitarian assistance.
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