30 Aug 2012

New Forum chair wants Pacific viewed as Large Ocean Island States

2:05 pm on 30 August 2012

Cook Islands Prime Minister, Henry Puna has challenged leaders from 15 Pacific Islands Countries to consider a re-think of shared identity within the region.

PACNEWS reports the new chair of the Pacific Islands Forum saying it is time that the region break the mould that defines it too narrowly.

He says rather than identifying as Small Island Developing States the island countries should think of themselves as Large Ocean Island States.

Mr Puna says the proposed new identity will not take away the special island uniqueness of the Pacific but augment it with a more balanced, and committed view of ocean and islands.

Mr Puna says Pacific Island countries define themselves as small landmasses, scattered and separated over a vast body of ocean.

But he says the sum of their ocean territory is nearly two times the size of Russia.