9 Apr 2011

Delegates at Australia-NZ forum express concerns over stability of Pacific nations

12:21 pm on 9 April 2011

Delegates at the Australia-New Zealand leadership forum in Auckland have expressed worry about the stability and security of Pacific Island nations.

Several have questioned whether the aid being given by Australia and New Zealand is making any real difference.

Australia's Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles, says it's clear a number of island states are facing difficulties.

"Australia and New Zealand are the two developed in the World surrounded by the most number of developing countries and that implies a level of fragility in governance and in turn that implies a range of security issues, and that isn't just kind of volatility of the public but it's security around health for example."

Richard Marles says both New Zealand and Australia continue to work closely to strengthen democracy and promote economic opportunities in the Pacific.