8 Apr 2013

Major summits cannot be avoided by Pacific leaders, says governance specialist

3:15 pm on 8 April 2013

A Pacific governance specialist says that island governments cannot avoid the need to travel abroad.

The comment from Graham Hassall at Victoria University's School of Government comes as Tuvalu's Prime Minister Willy Telavi has been facing public criticism in his country over frequent overseas travel by he and his ministers.

Tuvalu sent a high-level delegation to the recent Auckland energy summit where over 500 million US dollars was secured for clean energy projects in the Pacific.

Professor Hassall says that for small island states, such major international summits are important, although there is an argument for streamlining attendance.

"This is what is one of the motivations for finding Pacific regionalism and co-operation, to see if the number of meetings or the number of delegations can be reduced by sharing of responsibilities. But you can't get around the need for national representatives to be at the significant conferences which affect their sector."

Graham Hassall