17 Oct 2006

Forum head hopes summit will not be dominated by Australia/Solomons row

7:13 pm on 17 October 2006

The secretary-general of the Forum Secretariat, Greg Urwin, says he hopes next week's summit will not be overwhelmed by the tensions between Australia and the Solomons and PNG.

He says a number of other substantial issues need to be tackled, including the regional Pacific plan and the proposals for combining the bodies that offer technical expertise.

But Mr Urwin admits the political stand-off could affect the chances for any progress to be made on such issues:

"Any tension that exists among individual members it is something that cuts across our hopes for greater regional co-operation generally and regional cooperation and it's to be hoped that these kind of tensions are allayed rather than worsened."

The Forum Secretary General, Greg Urwin