PACIFIC Islands Forum foreign ministers met in Sydney late last week as the spotlight of regional attention focused on the Pacific Games being hosted by Papua New Guinea. Port Moresby hosted a stunning opening ceremony on 4 July.
It was one of several events this year which the PNG government, and in particular prime minister Peter O'Neill, will use to project the country's growing prominence in the region.
Papua New Guinea will also host the Pacific Islands Forum leaders' summit in September along with celebrations on the occasion of 40 years of independence from Australia.
Mr O'Neill sought to inspire the region in his address at the opening ceremony of the Games, saying the event would bring strong bonds between people, teams and nations.