29 Sep 2005

Forum vows further consultations despite finalisation of plan

9:21 am on 29 September 2005

The Pacific Islands Forum is promising further extensive consultations as it begins to roll out its Pacific Plan on greater regional co-operation.

The final draft of the Plan has just been released and is expected to be endorsed by regional leaders next month in Port Moresby.

Some elements of the plan are earmarked to go ahead immediately, but NGOs in the Pacific have called for a delay in its implementation.

However, the Forum secretary general, Greg Urwin, says they feel there have been extensive consultations and they intend to develop this further.

"We hope people will work with us to develop it further, but to suggest, I think, and I don't mean this pejoratively, but to sit around for another couple of years before going on with the implementation phase I think is to massively underrate the urgency of some of the issues we are facing here in the Pacific."