Prime Minister Sogavare left for Brisbane today, Friday 16th September, en route to New York for the 71st United Nations General Assembly.

The 71st UN General Assembly General Debate will take place from the 16th to 25th September. This year, the focus will be on implementing the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, which were adopted at the 70th UNGA. In addition three high-level meetings on refugees and migrants, antimicrobial resistance and the Paris Climate Agreement will set the tone for the week.

The 71st UNGA will be quite a special one for Solomon Islands, as it will assume the role of Vice- President over the General Assembly Debate. This means Prime Minister Sogavare will be chairing some of the General Assembly Debate sessions. Fiji will take on the General Assembly Presidency role.

Prime Minister Sogavare will be delivering Solomon Islands National Address to the UNGA General Debate Session on the 23rd of September at 5pm. The address will be live-broadcasted by the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation. The Republic of China on Taiwan’s pursuit for United Nations membership and the issue of West Papua will be included in Solomon Islands National Address.

At the margin of the 71st UNGA, Prime Minister Sogavare will have bilateral discussions with his Australian counterpart Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, meet with the President of the Christian Mission for the UN Community, Dr Garry Allen, attend a Japan-Pacific Allies meeting, meet with the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Right Honourable Patricia Scotland, attend a Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Meeting with the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon and convene a meeting of the Pacific Coalition on West Papua.

The Prime Minister’s delegation includes Madam Emmy Sogavare, Chairman of Government Caucus, Jackson Fiulaua, Government Backbencher, Hon Bradley Tovosia, Permanent Secretary for Environment, Climate Change, Conservation and Meteorology, Dr Melchior Mataki, Deputy Secretary to the Prime Minister, Derek Futaiasi, Solomon Islands Government Special Envoy on West Papua, Rex Horoi, Press Secretary to the Prime Minister, Deli Oso, Head of Protocol in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Kereta Sanga, Personal Executive Secretary to the Prime Minister, Suzie Wale and a Close-Protection Police Officer.

Three members of the Prime Minister’s delegation, Dr Mataki, Mr Horoi and Mrs Oso will leave for New York later on Sunday 18th September.

The Prime Minister’s delegation will be joined in New York for the UNGA engagement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon Milner Tozaka, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, William Soaki and Foreign Affairs Desk Officer for the Americas, Janice Mose.

The Prime Minister and his delegation will arrive back in Honiara on Friday 30th September.