Pacific Islands Forum- Anneka Brown’s Diary: ‘Tuvalu friendly and open’

Monday August 12, 2019 Written by Published in Opinion
Children play in Funafuti’s lagoon. 19081133 Children play in Funafuti’s lagoon. 19081133

As I walk along the beach this morning to see Funafuti’s massive lagoon, there are children swimming and fishing. “There are plenty of fish in Tuvalu,” one of them tells me.

Across from the water, hammocks made from fishing nets are tied to the trees. Locals spend time lounging in the shade.

Walking through the town, they wave at us and say “Talofa!”

The Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting is like the Olympics of regional politics. It’s going to be a hard week – but the people of Tuvalu have truly welcomed everyone and have been so helpful transporting the media team around Funafuti.

We like to regard Cook Islands as the friendliest people, but I think we may have some competition with the beautiful smiles from the people of Tuvalu.

Since arriving, I have also met so many wonderful journalists, for some, like me it is their first time covering the leaders meeting and some have been reporting in the Pacific for many years.

I also spoke with Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga, who was friendly and open.

On Sunday he attended a church service in town and then spoke with the media – a perfect illustration of the balance to be struck between Church, Government and the public.

He said the media, too, have power too, and it’s important for leaders to answer our questions.

I agree – and I look forward to the opening of the forum meetings in that vein.

Leave a comment