8 Sep 2011

Pacific leaders sign Waiheke Declaration to bolster economic development

8:18 pm on 8 September 2011

Pacific Islands Forum leaders have focused on economic development in their communique issued following the conclusion of their retreat on Waiheke Island.

This completes the two day long summit.

Megan Whelan reports from Auckland.

"Leaders agree to the Waiheke Declaration on sustainable development. It includes a pledge to pursue improved returns from fisheries and increase investment in fisheries, agriculture and tourism. It commits to improved energy security through renewable energy and raise educational standards. The leaders expressed concerns about recent developments in Fiji that reiterated their long-standing position on the country's suspension. American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas have been granted observer status. But leaders recall their 2004 decision to support the principle of French Polynesia's right to self-determination but reiterated their encouragement to French Polynesia and France to seek an agreed approach."

Megan Whelan.

The Forum Chair, New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key, says what came from the meeting is agreement on the promise the Pacific holds.

Our leaders had quite an intensive debate about a number of areas. Fisheries being one clear example where it forms part of the Waiheke Declaration but you are also going to see a number of changes or work streams that will come out of that.

John Key

The Cook Islands will host the next forum.