13 Aug 2002

Regional security and good governance to be key issues at Forum meeting

3:53 pm on 13 August 2002

Regional security and good governance are expected to be among key issues to be discussed at the Pacific Islands Forum summit which will be held in Suva this week.

This has been confirmed by the chairman of the organising committee and Fiji's deputy secretary for foreign affairs, Emitai Boladuadua.

He says trade and economic issues, the environment, as well as social and development issues will also feature at the talks.

Among those expected at the summit is the Commonwealth Secretary General, Don McKinnon.

Forum officials began meeting in Suva today to prepare position papers for the summit which will take place on Thursday and Friday, chaired by Fiji's Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase.

East Timor and French Polynesia have applied for observer status at the Forum which New Caledonia already has it.

As well, India has show interest in joining other major powers in the post-Forum dialogue.

Meanwhile, a request by the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, for a bullet proof care for his Fiji stay has not been met because there are no such cars in Fiji.

And about 180 overseas journalists have been accredited to cover the summit.