8 Sep 2011

Pacific Islands Forum chair does not believe head of group will change

4:43 am on 8 September 2011

The new Pacific Islands Forum chair says he does not believe there will be a change at the head of the group's Secretariat

A meeting of Melanesian Spearhead Group ministers in Nadi last week agreed to endorse Fiji's former foreign minister Kaliopate Tavola as its nominee at this weeks Forum summit.

Fiji's interim foreign minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, told local media the current secretary general, Tuiloma Neroni Slade's actions at the helm of the Forum were designed to shore up support for his own position from powers such as Australia and New Zealand.

The chair, New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key, says the history has always been that there's a second term offered to the secretary general.

"We recognise that there's been one or two people that have been suggesting other names, but that's not really the process of how that would work. If there was to ever be a change we'd have to go through a very different process and that's not one that's likely to happen."

The Pacific Islands Forum chair, New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key