3 Sep 2013

Pacific Islands Forum opens in Marshall Islands

4:45 pm on 3 September 2013

The 44th Pacific Islands Forum summit is underway in Majuro in the Marshall Islands with the opening ceremony held this afternoon.

The leaders of 15 Pacific countries will meet over the next two days.

At the top of the summit agenda is climate change and the desire from the small island states that New Zealand and Australia assume a greater leadership role in ensuring international rhetoric is turned into action.

The leader of Tuvalu says threatened countries such as Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands and Kiribati are feeling the impact of sea level rise now and attempts to combat climate change cannot be delayed any longer.

Fiji, which remains suspended from the Forum, is likely to be on the agenda with indications that it will be re-admitted in view of the progress being made in returning the country to democracy.