20 Aug 2008

39th Pacific Islands Forum opens in Niue

3:38 pm on 20 August 2008

The 39th Pacific Islands Forum summit has been opened in Niue with cultural performances by students from Niue High School.

The meeting comes amid growing concern over the refusal by the Fiji interim government to attend the talks.

Don Wiseman reports.

"The outgoing chair of the Forum, Dr Feleti Sevele, expressed his disappointment at the move by Commodore Bainimarama in his outgoing speech. He also paid tribute to Greg Urwin, the late secretary general, for his work and there was one minute of silence. And he commented on the former premier of Niue, Young Vivian, and his efforts in winning the Forum for Niue. Dr Sevele continued the theme of the past several days, saying there needs to be more than lipservice paid to issues such as climate change. Toke Talagi, the premier of Niue, now takes over as chair. He expressed his pride in being able to host the event and thanked the people of Niue for their effort."