3 Nov 2003

Group named to review Pacific Islands Forum

4:28 pm on 3 November 2003

An Eminent Persons Group of senior regional figures has been formed to undertake a comprehensive review of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

The review will be overseen by New Zealand's Prime Minister, Helen Clark, as the current chair of the Forum.

A shake up of the Pacific Islands Secretariat was backed by Pacific leaders at this year's Forum meeting in Auckland.

Members, especially Australia and New Zealand, are keen to ensure that the Secretariat remains relevant and able to support the needs of the region.

Those appointed to the group are the former President of Kiribati, Teburoro Tito, the former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Julius Chan, Samoa's Ombudsman, Maiava Iulai Toma, the Pro Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific, Dr Langi Kavuliku and the retired Australian diplomat, Bob Cotton.

The Eminent Persons Group will be involved in consultation throughout the region both at country level and with organisations.

The review report will be presented early in the New Year