Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders Meets Virtually


Eleventh Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders 2021

For further updates on the Pacific leaders summit, visit

HONOLULU (June 1, 2021) – The leaders of nations and territories across the Pacific are gathered virtually on June 1 and 2 (Hawai‘i time) for a meeting of the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders (PICL). It is the 11th time the summit has convened since it was founded in 1980. At the meeting a new group of Pacific Island leaders recommitted to the important regional role of the PICL and its Secretariat, the Pacific Islands Development Program (PIDP) based at the East-West Center in Honolulu. PIDP is a founding member of the Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific (CROP) and conducts a broad range of collaborative development activities with Pacific nations and communities to improve livelihoods and advance Blue Pacific priorities.

The 11th PICL met privately, but a video message to the leaders from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is available for viewing at

Key Topics

The leaders are expected to discussed critical regional priorities, including:

  • Climate change impacts, featuring a discussion with US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry
  • COVID-19 pandemic recovery
  • Digital connectivity
  • Infrastructure development, including ports and transportation facilities
  • Education and capacity development
  • Marine resources development and conservation
  • Cultural awareness and integrity
  • Equity and socio-economic disparities
  • The “2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent” that Pacific leaders are developing


Leadership Selections

During the meeting, the leaders elected Federated States of Micronesia President David W. Panuelo as the the body's new chairperson from their ranks. They endorsed Dr. Mary Therese Perez Hattori to continue as interim director of PIDP through 2025.


Leader Delegations

The leaders (or their designees) of the following Pacific countries participated in the meeting:

  • Cook Islands
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • French Polynesia
  • Guam
  • Hawai‘i
  • Marshall Islands
  • Niue
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Palau
  • Solomon Islands


About the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders:
The Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders (PICL) summit was founded in 1980 by Hawaiʻi Gov. George Ariyoshi and Fijian statesman Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara as a forum for Pacific Islands leaders—regardless of political status and without formal intergovernmental protocol—to address shared issues, learn from each other’s experiences, and develop common approaches to policy. The summit also provides opportunities for the leaders to dialogue with US officials and experts.

About the Pacific Islands Development Program:
The Pacific Islands Development Program (PIDP) conducts a broad range of activities to enhance the quality of life in the Pacific islands. Based at the East-West Center in Honolulu,PIDP was formed in 1980 at the specific request of the region’s leaders to help advance their collective efforts to achieve and sustain equitable social and economic development. PIDP also serves as the Secretariat for the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders and is a member of the Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific (CROP).

About the East-West Center:
The East-West Center promotes better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific through cooperative study, research, and dialogue. Established by the US Congress in 1960, the Center serves as a resource for information and analysis on critical issues of common concern, bringing people together to exchange views, build expertise, and develop policy options.