Media Note: Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield’s Participation in the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in Rarotonga, Cook Islands

United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
November 11, 2023

Media Note: Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield’s Participation in the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Representative to the United Nations, led the United States’ delegation to the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Leaders Meeting in Rarotonga, Cook Islands. While there, the Ambassador met with Pacific Island leaders and other stakeholders to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to the region and help galvanize further international cooperation on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), tackling the climate crisis, promoting sustainable development, maintaining regional security, and other key priorities.

On Thursday, November 9, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield spent her first day in the Cook Islands with alumni of the Academy of Women and Young Pacific Leaders from the Cook Islands and other Pacific nations. The Ambassador discussed with entrepreneurs and leaders their efforts to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how the United States can better support local initiatives in the Pacific.

On Friday, November 10, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield participated in a PIF Leaders Meeting session on political leadership and regionalism. In her remarks, the Ambassador noted the Biden Administration’s commitment to deepening the United States’ diplomatic, development, and security cooperation with the Pacific. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield reiterated the United States’ intent to provide funding to support the Pacific Leadership Initiative and empower the next generation of regional leaders in a way that’s grounded in Pacific principles.

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield participated in bilateral meetings, including with Australia’s Minister for Defense Industry and Minister for International Development and the Pacific Pat Conroy and New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson of the Opposition Gerry Brownlee. During these discussions, the Ambassador underscored the strength and enduring alliance between our Five Eyes partners, as well as the need for continued partnership to expand economic engagement in the Pacific region and to address global and regional challenges like climate change.

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield also discussed these and other global and regional issues with President David Adeang of Nauru, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan of Singapore, President Taneti Maamau of Kiribati, Prime Minister Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa of Samoa, PIF Secretary General Henry Puna, and Prime Minister Mark Brown of the Cook Islands. Throughout each of these meetings, the Ambassador touched an priority topics including people-centered development, oceans and the environment, resource and economic development, and technology and connectivity. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield also reiterated the United States’ commitment to working with Pacific partners to tackle today’s greatest challenges and ensure prosperity for people across the Pacific region.