In what has become a tradition, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will host her third annual roundtable with 14 leaders of the Pacific Island nations on the margins of the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 23. The United States, also a Pacific nation, values our longstanding and close friendships with the countries and peoples of the Pacific. Our multifaceted engagement with our Pacific partners runs the gamut from sustainable development, economic growth and regional security, to good governance, climate change, and fisheries.
Complex and challenging problems, like slow economic growth, climate change, trafficking in persons, and illegal, unreported, unregulated fishing, threaten the region's prosperity and security. We are committed to being good partners in addressing these problems. The people of the Pacific Islands and the United States share a commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms. This commitment is evident in our voting together on many important issues at the United Nations and in other international forums. We are grateful for the contributions of many Pacific countries to global security whether their citizens serve in the Armed Forces of the United States or on United Nations or Coalition peacekeeping missions.
Climate change is an existential threat and an urgent environmental, economic, development, and security issue in the Pacific. The United States remains committed to helping the Pacific Islands adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change. The new U.S. Agency for International Development Pacific Regional Office in Papua New Guinea will be one focal point for our efforts, and we are administering a $21 million program to support climate change adaptation, clean energy, and sustainable land management in the Pacific. Deputy Secretary Nides was pleased to highlight our partnerships with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Pacific Regional Environmental Program at a signing ceremony on the margins of the Pacific Island Forum earlier this month. These partnerships will serve to strengthen food and water security and protect critical eco-systems.
We recognize the importance of fisheries in the Pacific as a matter of environmental preservation and economic development. We have entered into maritime law enforcement agreements with eight Pacific countries to help protect Pacific Fisheries. Over the past 23 years, the South Pacific Tuna Treaty between the United States and the Pacific Island states has been the means for our government and the U.S. fishing industry to contribute to these efforts in tangible and meaningful ways. Successful negotiations to extend the treaty will strengthen this cooperation and enhance our contribution to these efforts.
The Pacific region is undergoing many positive, transformative changes, from economic growth to successful democratic reforms to robust international engagement. The United States seeks opportunities to work with the governments and peoples of the Pacific to foster stable, democratic, and prosperous countries across the region.
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