1 Aug 2014

PNG's O'Neill praises new Forum SG

12:57 pm on 1 August 2014

A high-profile diplomat from Papua New Guinea has become the first woman to be appointed Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Dame Meg Taylor will replace Samoa's Tuiloma Neroni Slade, who has finished his term after six years in the role.

Other candidates had included a Fiji diplomat and former politician, Kaliopate Tavola, and a former director general of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Jimmie Rodgers of Solomon Islands.

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, says Dame Meg will do an excellent job.

"She is a very experienced woman leader in Papua New Guinea. She ahs been a distinguished ambassador and civil servant for our country. She is a lawyer by profession, well respected in our community, knighed for her efforts in that. So she is going to be breath of fresh air."

Peter O'Neill says appointing a woman to the role sends a message to the international community that the Pacific has come of age.