23 Aug 2008

New Forum Secretary General promises to restore stability to the agency

9:34 am on 23 August 2008

The new Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, says he will be aiming to continue the legacy of the late Greg Urwin.

The International Criminal Court judge was chosen ahead of two other candidates Wilkie Rasmussen, the Cook Islands Foreign Minister, and Feleti Teo, the acting head of the agency, during last week's Forum summit in Niue.

The New Zealand Prime Minister says the agency has been adrift a bit recently as a result of the long illness experienced by Mr Urwin, who died earlier this month.

Tuiloma says under such circumstances instability within a large organisation is to be expected but reversing it will be one of his priorities.

"The absence of any person - of a leader like Greg, the head of the Forum Secretariat - would naturally have consequences of some instability. That would be among my priorities: to ensure there is leadership, immediate leadership and renewed motivation."

Tuiloma Neroni Slade