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PM welcomes decision on next Pacific Island Forum

24 February 2001 Media Statement

PM welcomes decision on next Pacific Island Forum venue


Prime Minister Helen Clark welcomed today's announcement that Nauru is to host the 2001 meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum.

“The decision, by current Forum chair, President Tito of Kiribati, that Nauru will host this year's Forum is a sensible one,” said Helen Clark.

“I made clear at last year’s meeting in Kiribati New Zealand's view that it would be inappropriate for this year’s Forum to be hosted by Fiji in its present circumstances. New Zealand could not have accepted an invitation to attend.

"These concerns were shared by a number of our Pacific neighbours. In signing up to the Biketawa Declaration last year, Forum leaders collectively sent a message that we are serious about upholding democratic processes and institutions in our region.

"Today’s decision on the venue for this year’s Forum is consistent with that message. It sends another strong, clear message to Fiji that it must restore democracy and its constitution,” Helen Clark said.


(Note: The Pacific Islands Forum (formerly known as the South Pacific Forum) is the political grouping of independent and self-governing states of the Pacific. Heads of government of the sixteen Forum member countries meet annually. The last Forum meeting was held in Tarawa, Kiribati, in October 2000.)

ENDS

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