14 Jul 2005

Forum follows up calls for debt relief for region's poorest countries

1:08 pm on 14 July 2005

The Pacific Islands Forum says it's following up on calls to unshackle the region's poor nations from debt.

Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Tuvalu want regional organisations to persuade big lenders to cancel all the debt they owe.

The Manager of Economic Growth for the Forum Secretariat, Stan Vandersyp, sees the organisation's role as a broker between the individual countries and the loan providers.

"The secretariat can provide assistance through providing briefs, and providing a common platform for talking. It's not the Forum secretariat can organise the debt relief, but it can facilitate approaches to international financial institutions."

Mr Vandersyp says the Forum island countries will either want a proposal before them as part of the Pacific Plan, or an answer as to why that hasn't been done.