23 Oct 2006

Pacific's small states call for more help from the Forum

7:10 pm on 23 October 2006

The seven Pacific countries that make up the Small Islands States grouping, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and Palau, says their interests are now better reflected in the Pacific Plan.

But they want more focus on aviation, shipping, energy, environmental protection and social concerns.

The SIS countries say plans for the bulk purchase of fuel would benefit them and they also want the Forum to try and negotiate more competitive prices with OPEC.

The SIS Leaders also highlighted the importance of renewable energy and want a meeting of Energy Ministers called to address this and other energy issues.

They say the bulk buying of other essential items including pharmaceuticals should be looked into.

And the SIS leaders have asked the Forum to develop a proposal for guest worker schemes in Australia and New Zealand to try and ease the increasing economic and social pressures created by unemployment.