14 Aug 2002

Nauru seeks Forum secretary-general's post for former finance minister

9:53 am on 14 August 2002

Nauru has joined the race for the top job at the Pacific Forum, that of secretary-general

The Fiji Times reports that Nauru has submitted the name of its former finance minister, Vince Clodumar, and has begun lobbying member countries.

Australia has already made public its interest in securing the job for its former pacific diplomat, Greg Urwin.

But the Pacific Concerns Resource Centre has joined the outgoing Forum secreatry-general, Noel Levi, in criticising Australia's interest in securing the top job.

The PCRC's director, Hilda Lini, says the appointment of an Australian would threaten the future of the 32 year old organisation.

In a statement, Ms Lini says Australia's influence in the Forum up to now has severely weakened the position of island countries on political and environmental issues and now it is trying to turn the Forum into its own little institution.

Ms Lini says Australia has consistently undermined regional solidarity and promoted regionalism only when it suited its needs.