4 Sep 2013

Forum chair says Pacific islands tired of being ignored on climate change

6:36 am on 4 September 2013

The outgoing chair of the Pacific Islands Forum says the theme for this year's Forum is due to the frustrations Pacific countries have felt in the past of being overlooked, ignored and undervalued.

Marshalling the Pacific response to the Climate Challenge is the theme for the 44th Pacific Islands Forum summit underway in Majuro in the Marshall Islands.

The leaders of 15 Pacific countries will meet over the next two days.

The outgoing chair, Cook Islands prime minister, Henry Puna says years of inaction on the part of those most capable of enacting effective mitigation actions have understandably left Pacific peoples absolutely disappointed and dissatisfied.

He says he has worked over the past year as Forum chair to promote the principles of the Pacific as large ocean island states.

"Island states that must take the lead to redefine themselves and their place in the world and then project that renewed identity to the rest of the world. Marshalling the Pacific response builds on that concept appropriately and thrusts the challenge forward front as centre as a pressing concern to us all."

Henry Puna is to hand the role as chair to the Marshall Islands President, Chris Loeak.