11 Oct 2005

Role of traditional leaders to be examined as part of Pacific plan

8:39 pm on 11 October 2005

The role of traditional leaders is to be examined as part of the draft Pacific Plan being presented to the heads of government at the Pacific Islands Forum summit later this month.

One of the initiatives under the draft plan is to enhance good governance in the region in a way that takes into account traditional values.

Professor Graham Hassall from the Institute of Development and Governance at the University of the South Pacific, says traditional leaders have moral authority that can be incorporated into modern structures.

Professor Hassall says they will explore how traditional leaders can contribute in the future.

"Obviously nobody's saying that we're going to do away with democratic structures or parliaments so the question is what role can be given to traditional authorities. It could be in the area of discipline, it could be in the area of leadership, it could be in the area of advice giving.'"

Professor Graham Hassall says they will also be looking at parliamentary effectiveness, land tenure issues, peace building and conflict resolution.