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PM and Pacific leaders to meet

21 March 2005 Media Statement

PM and Pacific leaders to meet

Prime Minister Helen Clark will host a meeting on the Pacific Plan in Auckland on Wednesday.

Helen Clark, Samoan Prime Minister and Forum chair Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, Marshall Islands President Kessai Note, and Pacific Forum Secretary-General Greg Urwin form the group tasked by the Pacific Islands Forum to oversee the plan’s development.

“The Pacific Plan is a forum initiative. It aims to map out where the region can sharpen the focus of regional cooperation and gain the most from sharing resources and increasing co-operation,” Helen Clark said.

“This is the first meeting of the leaders’ group.

“The Pacific Plan will identify where development outcomes can be improved through aligning policies and processes, and applying regional resources of governance to policy issues.

“The overall aim is improved economic growth, sustainable development, good governance and security – the four key goals of the forum,” Helen Clark said.

Forum leaders agreed at a special retreat in Auckland last year to develop the Pacific Plan to identify options for increased co-operation between forum members.

The forum secretariat distributed its working draft of the Pacific Plan, following three meetings of a specially convened taskforce late last year.

An updated draft will be prepared for leaders to discuss at this year’s forum leaders’ summit, in Papua New Guinea.

On Wednesday leaders will review progress on the plan so far, and discuss how its development should be taken forward in coming months.

ENDS

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