6 Jul 2012

Club of Madrid meets in Tahiti

7:37 am on 6 July 2012

Efforts to promote socio-economic development in the Pacific are expected to be central to the first ever meeting in the Pacific of the Club of Madrid.

The two-day gathering in Papeete opens today and is being hosted by the French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, with the backing of an Australian businessman, Clive Palmer.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"The Club of Madrid is made up of 88 democratic former Presidents and Prime Ministers, led by Wim Kok of the Netherlands and Dame Jenny Shipley of New Zealand. The organisation contends that with Western countries weakened by a severe economic and financial crisis, opportunities have arisen for the Pacific Islands countries. It says it wants to explore how to render the region more resilient, connected to the world and capable of delivering to its citizens. The discussions take place against the background of Mr Temaru's campaign to seek the territory's re-inscription on the UN decolonisation list."