1 Aug 2014

Forum in Palau draws to a close with new Secretary General

12:54 pm on 1 August 2014

The Pacific Islands Leaders Forum draws to a close in Palau with a Papua New Guinea woman being the first ever woman appointed as the Forum's new Secretary-General.

Leaders have engaged in high-level discussions during the 45th Forum in Palau this week and have now issued a communique outlining the results of their talks.

Amelia Langford is covering the Forum and filed this report,

"Leaders spent the day on the island of Peleliu yesterday holding discussions on a range of agenda items including how to protect the region's fisheries, the reinvigoration of the Pacific Plan and the appointment of the new Secretary-General.

They have chosen diplomat Dame Meg Taylor as a replacement for Tuiloma Neromi Slade, who has finished a six-year term.

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill,says Dame Meg will do an excellent job and her appointment sends a message to the international community that the Pacific has come of age.

Leaders have endorsed the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, which is to replace the Pacific Plan, and have pledged their commitment to protecting the Pacific ocean and tackling over fishing.

The communique also says the Forum is willing to lift Fiji's suspension if the country holds free and fair elections, as promised.

The next leaders summit will be held in PNG."