9 Jun 2008

Tavola rules out vying for Pacific Forum Sec-Gen post

3:24 pm on 9 June 2008

One of the popular choices among several countries to take over the post of Pacific Islands Forum Secretary-General has ruled out the possibility.

Officials from Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea have indicated that if Fiji endorsed the experienced Fijian politician, Kaliopate Tavola, they would unanimously endorse him.

Mr Tavola's name had been mentioned as a possible successor to Australian Greg Urwin, who recently resigned as Secretary-General for health reasons.

Samoa is nominating its former Attorney general and ambassador to the UN, Tuiloma Neroni Slade.

But Melanesian countries are set to oppose this nomination , saying it's their turn for a stint at the helm of the Forum Secretariat.

However Mr Tavola says he's not interested.

"Well, I've not been approached by any government. But the people who have been approaching me, I've told them that I've no interest in the post at this stage in my life. My life is so busy as it is so I certainly don't have the time for that big job."

Kaliopate Tavola