9 Aug 2004

Pacific leaders formally agree to help Nauru and back HIV/Aids and transport strategies

1:04 pm on 9 August 2004

Pacific forum officials are preparing for the Post Forum Dialogue meeting after the 35th leaders summit concluded yesterday.

The Forum has promised help to Nauru, made progress on its Pacific Plan, and endorsed strategies to improve transport and fight HIV/Aids.

From Apia here's Don Wiseman:

"The Forum has asked the Secretary General, Greg Urwin, to work with Nauru to work out what the body can do for the cash strapped nation."

A Task Force to start work on the Pacific Plan for greater regional cooperation and the rationalising of some services will soon be on the road consulting with people.

It will then suggest a programme for possible change.

The leaders have backed the as yet incomplete Study into Regional Transport Services, which among other things advocates improved managerial governnance and putting services on a sound commercial footing.

The HIV/Aids regional strategy, as expected, was endorsed and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, which developed it, was asked to come up with a detailed implementation plan for distribution before the end of this year.

French Polynesia got an element of support for its call to get back on the UN's decolonisation list and welcomed the Forum suggestion that the Territory and France develop a common understanding on the issue.

The leaders also thanked Australia for promising to try and enhance the compatibility of mobile phones in the reigon.

One omission from the final comunique was the Indonesian province of Papua.

In previous years the leaders have noted the tensions in the province and called for the autonomy law to be implemented but despite an advocate here to lobby the leaders - there was no mention.