11 Jun 2012

Cook Islands wants Pacific to embrace its place in ocean realm at Forum summit

1:41 pm on 11 June 2012

The Cook Islands government, which will host this year's Pacific Islands Forum summit, has announced the theme for the event - Large Ocean Island States - the Pacific Challenge."

Prime Minister Henry Puna says the Pacific is ill served by a small islands mentality.

He says Pacific peoples are the stewards of nearly 40 million square kilometres of ocean, yet more often than not Pacific nations consider themselves small island developing states.

Mr Puna says he supports the special needs and vulnerability of Pacific island states, but says it is also time to seek a balance with the large ocean realm in which Pacific people live.