15 Mar 2004

Secretary General of Pacific Islands Forum visits Niue and Samoa

7:24 am on 15 March 2004

The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Greg Urwin, will visit the cyclone devastated island of Niue this week.

Cyclone Heta destroyed much of Niue's infrastructure in January, and one of the proposals for setting a new direction for the Forum Secretariat is to give the Secretary General greater power to respond to disasters in the regin.

Mr Urwin will also discuss how the Forum Secretariat might provide assistance, and how it can coordinate future help from other regional organisations.

The 16 Forum Pacific leaders will hold a summit in New Zealand early next month to endorse proposals for the Forum to become a more dynamic regional grouping.

Mr Urwin will also visit Samoa for talks on arrangements for the annual Forum Leaders Meeting in August, which was originally to have been held in Niue.