26 Oct 2005

Niue urges urgent action to contain any outbreaks of avian influenza in the Pacific

10:39 am on 26 October 2005

The Premier of Niue, Young Vivian, says all the preparations for the Pacific Plan could be for nothing if the region does not move quickly to try and contain any outbreak of avian flu.

The issue will be raised when Forum leaders meet privately today at the Madang Resort on Papua New Guinea's north coast.

Their main topic of conversation will be the Pacific Plan which is certain to be endorsed by them.

Young Vivian says he's satisfied with the Plan, but combatting avian flu has to be the priority, or else the existence of small states like Niue are under threat.

He says the Small Island Countries - a grouping of six nations within the Forum - want immediate action.

"Small island countries have requested that an immediate ministerial meeting should be held to be prepared to put plans in place, and also to seek funding for some of these things. We don't want Australia and New Zealand to have available vaccines for their people and we are left with nothing."