Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Leaders Retreat To Discuss Pacific’s Big Issues

Pacific Leaders Retreat To Discuss Region’s Big Issues

By Selwyn Manning – Scoop Co-Editor, in Apia, Samoa.

Pacific islands leaders have gathered at a secure retreat at Samoa’s Sinalei Reef Resort today where they will discuss a raft of issues impacting on the Oceania region.

Welcome to the forum, but watch out for the busses.

Nauru’s financial collapse will feature high on the agenda, as will AIDS/HIV where the spread of the disease is entrenching in Fiji and other islands. New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said it is urgent that solutions be found.

Other major issue facing leaders include how the Pacific can strengthen links between its nations. Distance, isolation, and size are barriers to co-operation between the island states on virtually common problems. Helen Clark said: “The key issue is the Pacific Plan”.

The Plan intends to map out agreement of all states to share governance resources, to plan strategically on security, on trade and economic co-operation.

Other issues requiring decisive action involve: preservation of cultural identity, the role of women in Pacific leadership, human rights observance of UN conventions, rights of minority groups including the young and disabled peoples, and a broader based aid co-operative that can take action when disasters strike.

Civil society leaders are urging the Forum to lobby the United Nations on decolonisation and specifically want Papua New Guinea to ratify the Bougainville constitution.

Australia is also being pressured to negotiate a fair maritime boundary with East Timor.

Tonga too is being asked to bring its constitution up to 21 century standards and is specifically being urged to introduce a new democratic constitution that is not subservient to its monarchy.

The leaders will decide on a core group of three “open minded” Pacific leaders including Helen Clark and Samoa PM Tupua Tupuola Efi to oversee progress and implementation of the Pacific Plan.

Photo Essay: Pacific Islands Forum Official Opening

Samoan leaders gather at Parliament Grounds for the official opening of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Samoa’s Parliament Grounds - official opening of the Pacific Islands Forum.

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark speaking at the Pacific Islands Forum opening in Apia, Samoa.

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark

Pacific Islands Forum chair, Samoa PM Tupua Tupuola Efi and Australia PM John Howard.

Pacific leaders at the official opening of the Pacific Islands Forum, Apia Samoa.

Dusk, Apia harbour, Samoa.

Pacific Leaders Hangout: Security watch at Aggie Grey’s Hotel, Apia, Samoa.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Using Scoop Professionally? Introducing ScoopPro

ScoopPro is a new offering aimed at ensuring professional users get the most out of Scoop and support us to continue improving it so that Scoop continues to exist as a public service for all New Zealanders. More>>


Don Rennie: Is It Time To Take ACC Back To First Principles?

The word “investing” has played a major part in the operations of the ACC since 1998... More>>

27-29 Sept: Social Enterprise World Forum Live Blog

1600+ delegates from more than 45 countries have came together to share wisdom, build networks and discuss how to create a more sustainable future using social enterprise as a vehicle. Attending the Forum were social enterprise practitioners, social entrepreneurs, policy makers, community leaders, investors, activists, academics and more from across the globe... More>>

HiveMind Report: A Universal Basic Income For Aotearoa NZ

Results from this HiveMind suggests that an overwhelming majority of Kiwis believe that due to changing circumstances and inefficiencies in the current system, we need a better system to take care of welfare of struggling members in our society. More>>


Scoop Hivemind: Medical Cannabis - Co-Creating A Policy For Aotearoa

Welcome to the fourth and final HiveMind for Scoop’s Opening the Election campaign for 2017. This HiveMind explores the question: what would a fair, humane and safe Medical Cannabis policy look like for Aotearoa, NZ in 2018? More>>