19 Oct 2005

Tokelau to seek Forum leaders backing to join the ACP group of nations

10:12 am on 19 October 2005

The New Zealand territory, Tokelau, wants the support of other Pacific countries to have it included among the African Caribbean and Pacific group of developing nations.

The ACP, including 12 island countries, receive millions of dollars in aid funding from the European Union.

Tokelau, which is about to consider self determination in a referendum, is wanting to build up its infrastructure and needs more funding support to do so.

It is to become an observer at the Pacific Islands Forum next week and financial support for its trust fund and backing to join the ACP will be raised by the Ulu o Tokelau.

The senior Tokelau government official, Falani Aukuso, says they were buoyed by the support given during meetings in Brussels last month.

"And they have given their commitment, in principle, to prepare the groundwork for Tokelau becoming a member, so the Ulu will be looking for the support of the membership of the Pacific Islands Forum because that is where the support from the European union is channelled."