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Fiji, RAMSI, climate change head PNG talks


Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs


9 December 2007
Media statement

Fiji, RAMSI, climate change head PNG talks

Foreign Minister Winston Peters said Fiji’s scheduled return to constitutional government, the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, and climate change dominated talks with his Papua New Guinea counterpart Sam Abal in Port Moresby yesterday.

“We agreed that the Pacific faces some difficult security challenges at present, which will require concerted attention over the long term,” Mr Peters said.

“This includes the importance of a regional approach to encouraging Fiji to fulfil the commitments it made at this year’s Pacific Islands Forum to return to constitutional government.

“Slippage in the timeframe for their electoral preparations is just one indication that the interim government is not in any hurry to hand over power in Fiji.

“We also talked about the importance of Pacific-wide support for the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands, as the mission’s regional nature is unique, and one of its key strengths.

“Forum Leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to RAMSI and to working closely with the Solomon Islands Government to ensure its ongoing success, and both New Zealand and PNG fully endorse this approach.

“We also discussed the global response to climate change. Both New Zealand and PNG strongly support reducing deforestation and forest degradation.

“We recognise that any measures must provide a significant and ongoing alternative source of funds to offer an incentive for countries to reduce deforestation rates in order for them to be successful.”

Mr Peters said it had been agreed that New Zealand diplomats – both current and past – would provide skills training for young PNG diplomatic staff, in a move aimed to build the strength of PNG’s Foreign Ministry.

ENDS

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