15 Oct 2007

Pacific Small Island states discuss key issues in Tonga

8:21 pm on 15 October 2007

The seven Small Island states in Tonga for the 37th Pacific Islands Forum meeting have held their key preliminary discussion ahead of the Leaders' Summit.

Don Wiseman reports from Nuku'alofa that the small island states have discussed key common issues like air and sea transport and the provision of fuel.

"As far as air transport goes, the Nauru airline - Our Airline - is being promoted by Nauru as an airline that all the other countries could buy into. We're talking about the likes of Tuvalu and Kiribati. On the subject of the provisions of fuel, bulk buying has been on the agenda at Pacific Islands Forums for several years now. But there's a hope, particularly among the small island states, that there will be a clear plan in place by this time next year. There are also very big concerns about health - both communicable and non-communicable diseases - and how these small island states can cope with them. There's a lot of emphasis being placed on the Pacific Plan and how it represents the solution to a lot of these problems. In Nuku'alofa I'm Don Wiseman."