21 Jul 2004

Pacific parliamentarians receive sober insight into Nauru's plight

9:32 pm on 21 July 2004

An adviser with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat says parliamentarians who visited Nauru received a sobering insight into that country's difficulties.

A parliamentary delegation from Pacific Island Forum countries has just returned from visiting Nauru to get a first-hand view of the issues facing the debt-plagued island.

Mose Saitala, a governance adviser with the Secretariat, was in the delegation and says securing a refinancing deal is uppermost in politicians' minds in Nauru.

"They are looking at refinancing of course. They're still negotiating with financiers from overseas to help in this regard, but they are guarding their financial assets very closely -- they don't want to lose it, but they admit that they might lose it in the end."

Mr Saitala says Nauru wants to fundamentally reassess the way the country's governed, and the Forum group will help with an assessment of constitutional procedures.