15 Aug 2002

The Pacific Islands Forum begins in Suva this afternoon

10:32 am on 15 August 2002

hold for Thurs am"

Regional security will be the focus of discussions during this year's Pacific Islands Forum, which gets underway in Fiji this afternoon.

Activities such as people smuggling, money laundering and drug trafficking will be prominent in talks over the next three days.

A special report on the difficulties being faced following the ethnic unrest in Solomon Islands will be presented and the recent violence wracked elections in Papua New Guinea are also likely to be discussed.

In a new move, the Forum will also consider the impact of significant population growth, especially in places such as the Solomons and PNG, and HIV/Aids in the Pacific.