19 Aug 2002

Pacific Islands Forum leaders' meeting concludes in Suva

10:40 am on 19 August 2002

New Zealand has been confirmed as the next host of the annual Pacific Islands Forum.

This year's meeting of the regional body wound up in Fiji over the weekend.

Philippa Tolley was in Suva for the Forum:

"Stepping up regional security and good governance were the main focus of the final communique from the meeting. A special statement on security, the Nasonini Declaration, says a common legislative base is needed to deal with problems such as money laundering, drug trafficking, terrorist financing and people smuggling. But the Forum also appealed to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the OECD, to be more understanding over demands to tighten tak and banking laws as many Pacific nations have limited resources and need assistance to comply. Australia managed to escape ditect criticism of its decision to reject the Kyoto Protocol, but New Zealand prime minister, Helen Clark, said Australia was isolated in the Pacific over its stance."