12 Aug 2004

Optimism returning to Pacific, says Forum head

10:15 am on 12 August 2004

The Secretary General of the Pacific islands Forum, Greg Urwin, says he believes there' a sense of optimism returning to the region.

Mr Urwin says this has been reflected in the just-completed Forum summit in Apia.

The series of meetings which make up the summit ended with 13 Dialogue partners holding bilateral discussions with panels of Pacific Ministers.

Greg Urwin defined it as a solid summit which tackled substantial issues.

And he says there is greater optimism in the Pacific.

"That's valuable, because that does provide the energy to go forward. As I've also said on innumerable occasions, I think the job that the Samoans have done, has just been first class. I mean the hosting responsibilities are hugely important because they have a bearing on the spirit in which the meeting has been conducted."

Next year's Forum summit will be held at a yet-to-be-named PNG city.

It will also see significant changes - such as the officials meeting being held several weeks before the leaders gather.