2 Mar 2004

New Zealand PM seeks early meeting of Forum leaders to discuss recent review

4:09 pm on 2 March 2004

The New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, the Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, wants to bring the region's leaders together within weeks to discuss a review of the organisation.

The review, an initiative of last year's leaders summit, was aimed at creating a more effective responsive organisation.

It was completed last month after a regional study by an Eminent Persons Group and drawing up of draft recommendations.

The leaders must now decide what, if any, changes to make and Miss Clark would like this to happen quickly.

She says there was some sense of urgency for change at last year's Forum while the organisation also has new Secretary General.

She says some of the leaders do not want to wait until the next summit in August in Apia to review the proposed changes.

"If the review is ready, we can look to see if there is a time that leaders can find in the next couple of months to come together, discuss the review, hopefully endorse the recommendations or make any amendments they'd like to, and then get the Secretary-General on his way."