24 Aug 2004

Britain withdraws from Pacific Community

8:14 pm on 24 August 2004

Britain has withdrawn from the Pacific Community, the SPC.

The pullout by Britain leaves what Fiji's Foreign Minister describes as a 'political void'.

The director-general of the SPC, Lourdes Pangelinan, outlines the price of the pullout:

"It's approximately US$450,000 every year. It's something that we in SPC management are currently looking at; the process of trying to come up with various options that we will be presenting to our governing council, for them to consider how to address the impact of the withdrawal."

Australia and New Zealand are expected to increase their contributions to the Pacific Community to make up for the withdrawal.