13 Sep 2011

Tonga PM says 40 years on Forum is on target

1:40 pm on 13 September 2011

Tonga's Prime Minister says he believes the Pacific Islands Forum is achieving the objectives of the leaders who founded it 40 years ago.

The Forum has faced criticism that it has achieved little in recent years, with stalled trade deals and dissension on issues like the suspension of Fiji.

Lord Tu'ivakano says some issues that were discussed this year will need to be re-visited, especially issues of economic development.

"It provides a dialogue, especially if you have your own problems. So it's always good to have that. And I think that was the whole objective of the seven founders. Because we are small countries, we can not stand alone."

Lord Tu'ivakano says he believes progress will be made on areas like tourism, energy and fisheries.