Cablegate: New Zealand Focuses On Reform of Pacific Island

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 151991

1. (U) On July 27, Poloff shared ref A points on the 2004
Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) with Paul Willis, Regional Deputy
Director, Pacific Division, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and Trade. Willis indicated that Prime Minister
Helen Clark would lead the New Zealand delegation to the PIF,
as New Zealand is outgoing Chair of the Forum. However, she
will be departing for Tokelau August 7 ) 10, and Foreign
Minister Phil Goff will head the delegation on those dates.
Goff is currently scheduled for a bi-lateral with A/S Kelly
on August 8.

2. (U) Willis noted that the GoNZ's primary focus for the
Forum would be continuing the momentum on PIF reform
generated by the release of the Pacific Plan. Willis
outlined additional higher priority GoNZ agenda items,
including HIV/AIDS and the threat of other communicable
diseases, specifically the implementation of the SPC regional
strategy on disease. In terms of the Australia-crafted
Pacific Regional Transport Strategy, the GoNZ was firmly
behind the Australians. They would be pressing for follow-up
on security and transport issues that have stalled in recent
months. Willis also noted a few issues that were likely to
appear on the margins of discussion. He advised that the
GoNZ would likely support French Polynesia's candidacy for
observer status at the Forum, noting that they had fulfilled
the obligations for such a position. Climate change would be
discussed, but was seen as a much less contentious issue than
at last year's meeting. Willis theorized that the Government
of Nauru would appeal for broader regional assistance, but
this would take place at the Leader's Retreat, and not in the
formal session.

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