19 Oct 2006

Fiji declines nominating Forum Secretary General candidate

8:18 pm on 19 October 2006

The Fiji government says it hasn't nominated a candidate to head the Pacific Island Forum secretariat despite international calls to do so.

Last week, a foreign affairs official said the other Melanesian countries, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, had asked Fiji to put up a candidate for the post, currently held by Australian Greg Urwin.

Mr Urwin has said he will be available for a second term and a decision over the role will be made at next week's summit of Pacific leaders in Nadi.

Fiji's foreign minister, Kaliopate Tavola, says rumours that he is in line for the job are just that.

Mr Tavola says that's been the talk for months, but there's no substance to it.

"I'm happy where I am, I'm committed for the next five years."

A prime ministerial aide says as far as he's aware, Mr Urwin is the only applicant for the job.