17 Jun 2005

Pacific security officials note need to consider land dispute resolution techniques

6:21 pm on 17 June 2005

How to ensure that disputes over land do not spark larger conflicts has been a key topic at regional security discussions in Auckland this week.

The secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum, Greg Urwin, says national security studies show common threads in the root causes of instability, and he says the most sensitive of these is land in conflict.

He says no one size fits all but there are within the region some means of land dispute resolution that might be appropriate in other places..

"There are some parts of the Pacific where decisions about land ownership and usage are now subject to all kinds of well established mechanisms. There are other parts of the Pacific where that does not seem to be quite so. That in turn relates to a whole lot of political and social situations in those countries."