New Zealand Embassy Washington, United States of America

Pacific Day shines a spotlight on Pacific issues, culture, and cuisine

Pacific Day, Washington’s largest annual event focused on the Pacific, seeks to turn the spotlight on the challenges the region faces as well as to celebrate the richness of Pacific culture and cuisine.  This year’s event was held on Wednesday 18 June at the New Zealand Embassy.

Pacific Day 2014 was notable for high-level attendance from the region including three leaders from the North-west Pacific: the President of the Republic of Palau Tommy Remengesau (the incoming Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum for 2014/15), the Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands Tony DeBrum (the current Chair of the Forum for 2013/14), and the Foreign Minister of the Federated States of Micronesia Lorin Robert. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also attended and delivered remarks.  The importance of regional cooperation and partnerships was a common theme across all leaders’ remarks.

In addition to speeches by the visiting leaders, this year’s Policy Seminar, which was co-sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), featured a panel of five regional experts discussing key issues such as renewable energy, climate change, oceans, and fisheries.

“The Seminar provides an opportunity to highlight the challenges facing the Pacific region, and reflect on the potential for inter-regional cooperation in the International Year of Small Island Developing States,” said Mike Moore, New Zealand’s Ambassador to the United States.

At the Reception, Pacific-style food and drink was served, and guests were entertained by a diverse mix of cultural performers, including a didgeridoo player from Australia, and singers and dancers from American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Hawaii, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea.

Pacific Day is supported by the Ambassadors and Representatives of American Samoa, Australia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Guam, Hawaii, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

View conversations on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms by searching the hashtag: #pacificday

View the entire Pacific Day 2014 Seminar on the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ (CSIS) website: http://csis.org/multimedia/video-pacific-day-2014

View PM John Key and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s Pacific Day remarks on the CSIS website:  http://csis.org/multimedia/video-pacific-day-2014-part-2

Event Sponsors: Center for Strategic and International Studies and Fiji Airways

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