1 Apr 2004

All but one Forum country at Auckland mini summit

4:06 pm on 1 April 2004

All Pacific Islands Forum member countries, apart from Nauru, will be represented at the meeting in Auckland.

The meeting has been called by the Forum chair New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark to consider 32 recommendations aimed at making the Forum a more effective organisation for the region.

Those coming include Australia's John Howard, who will fly in for the afternoon, Papua New Guinea's Sir Julius Chan, Fiji's Laisenia Qarase, Tuilaepa Sailele of Samoa, Sir Allen Kemakeza of Solomon Islands and Vanuatu's Edward Natapei.

The recommendations are from an Eminent Persons Group which considered around 400 oral and written submissions from around the Pacific over several weeks early this year.

They met with politicians, business people and members of civil society to consider what emphasis should be placed on economic growth, sustainable development, good governance and regional security.

Their report was then modified by a reflections group meeting in New Zealand and led by Helen Clark.

What the leaders will consider has not yet been made public but New Zealand Government officials say the recommendations focus on practical ideas and processes to enhance integration and co-operation in the region.