PIHOM Meeting and Farewell of the High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea
16th November 2021
Samoa High Commissioner, H.E. Leasi Papali'i Scanlan providing an update to the PIHOM
The High Commission of Niue, HE Hon Fisa Igilisi Pihigia, hosted the last quarterly Meeting of the Pacific Island Heads of Mission (PIHOM) at the Niue High Commission Office on Friday 12th November 2021. The Meeting opened with a prayer offered by the current Chair of PIHOM and High Commissioner of Niue. Hon Fisa then welcomed the other High Commissioners from the Pacific and especially the new High Commissioner of the Solomon Islands, HE Eliam Tangirongo. The new High Commissioner of Vanuatu conveyed his apologies for his absence from the Meeting due to some urgent commitments. During the Meeting, updates from each Pacific Island Country were presented. The subsequent discussions then focused mainly on the COVID-19 situation in the Region and the proposed vaccination programmes for each country. Climate Change also generated a lot of discussion especially on the increased risks to the Island Countries whilst COP-26 could very well end up to be just another ‘Talk-Fest’! The High Commissioners felt that whilst many Pacific Islands are being washed away, the Developed Countries continue to make pledges just to make them look good with no concrete action and minimal mitigating results. There are eight Pacific Island Missions established in Wellington; Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
As this was also the last Meeting for the outgoing High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea, HE Brigadier-General Francis Agwi, the meeting concluded with the Samoa High Commissioner, HE Leasi Papali’I Scanlan, being given the honour to say a few words of farewell on behalf of the PIHOMs. Leasi noted that HE Francis Agwi and spouse Martina have been in New Zealand for over 6 years and they have been great Ambassadors and served PNG well during their time in Wellington. He thanked them for their strong support of PIHOM activities and for Acting Dean of the Dip Corps, during the times when Leasi was not available. The Samoa High Commissioner was accompanied by the Counsellor, Mr. Robert Niko Aiono, to the meeting