5 Oct 2005

Intermediate membership on Pacific Forum leaders summit agenda

8:01 pm on 5 October 2005

Pacific Islands government officials have helped finalise the agenda for the Forum leaders summit which will be held in Papua New Guinea later this month.

The Suva meeting agreed to allow Tokelau join as an observer.

And the Forum's secretary-general, Greg Urwin, says it proposes the creation of a intermediate stage of membership between observer status and full membership.

"If this set of proposals were approved they would be free to apply. A decision would then be taken in a case by case basis."

French Polynesia may be in line for associate membership.

Two years ago, the French President, Jacques Chirac, lobbied Pacific leaders to give the French territories full membership.

This has been pursued by French Polynesia's president, Oscar Temaru.