12 May 2004

Kiribati says it will need time to implement UN conventions on counter-terrorism

10:17 am on 12 May 2004

The Deputy secretary of Foreign affairs for Kiribati, Reteta Rimon, says complying with new international security obligations will be slow, given the country has greater priorities, such as health and education.

Roundtable talks on counter-terrorism are being held in Wellington with officials from Pacific countries.

Ms Rimon says they do appreciate the importance of the new international conventions designed to counter terrorism, but it will take some time to implement.

"We are taking a very slow pace in meeting these obligations, but as I say we have our own national priorities like you know providing essential basic services and needs of our population like health and education. Those are the more immediate priorities. It means having to comply with these rules will mean putting in more effort."

Reteta Rimon says they are also constrained financially and technically to implement the new law.

She says the Kiribati government has yet to draft legislation for the new international rules.