The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, says unless standards of governance in the Pacific are lifted, economic advancement is unlikely.
Speaking while in Apia for the Pacific Islands Forum summit, Mr Howard announced over three million US dollars in funding for governance projects .
It will be used for over 25 schemes, including in areas such as public service and judicial administration and the management of electoral systems.
Mr Howard says it is another illustration of the importance that Australia places on good governance:
"It's our very strong view that the key to a prosperous and stable future does lie very much in good governance and unless standards of governance are lifted and strengthened and improved, then prosperity and higher living standards are going to continue to be very elusive."