4 Aug 2010

Australia outlines need for more effort if Pacific is to achieve MDGs

3:32 pm on 4 August 2010

Australias Foreign Minister Stephen Smith says much more work is needed for

Pacific Island countries to meet the Millenium Development Goals.

Mr Smith's comment came at the official opening ceremony of the 41st Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Summit in Vanuatus capital, Port Vila.

The UN-established goals on social and human development are a core focus

for discussion at today's plenary session for the leaders.

Mr Smith, who is representing Australia's Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, as the outgoing Forum chair at this summit, says Pacific people are still strugglng against most social and human indicators.

"And despite decades of development assistance, our region is still not on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. [But] in large part, because of the Cairns Compact, we now have stronger evidence that there is some good news in Millennium Development Goals in the Pacific, particularly in education."

Stephen Smith