31 Mar 2004

Fiji PM says regional revamp is not end to Pacific Way

11:54 am on 31 March 2004

The Prime Minister of Fiji, Laisenia Qarase, says a planned revamp of the Pacific Islands Forum, does not mean the end of the Pacific Way.

The Pacific Way - the seeking of consensus in decision making - has in the past been seen as inhibiting the work of the Forum.

Next week the leaders of almost all of the 16 Forum members will meet in Auckland to discuss changes to make the Forum a more integrated and effective body.

Mr Qarase says he doesn't think the Pacific Way should be static - he says it should be an evolving concept.

"I think we cannot afford to remain standing still, without moving along with the times. I don't think the change should be radical. I think there are logical changes at this point in time, taking into account the status of the developing island countries."