6 Sep 2011

Small Island States Meeting gets underway

9:41 am on 6 September 2011

The 42nd Pacific Islands Forum leaders Summit has begun in Auckland with the Small Island States Meeting.

The Forum Secretary General, Tuiloma Neroni Slade opened the meeting, saying this year marks the 40th year since the forum was founded.

He says the separate meeting recognises that Small Island States have different perspectives and requirements.

"The devastating impact of non-communicable diseases on lives and livelihoods of all Pacific peoples is a crisis of serious magnitude which needs to be addressed with immediacy."

Tuiloma Neroni Slade says climate change remains the overwhelming challenge for the Small Island States.

He says the Forum is working towards ways for member countries to better access resources to help deal with the effects of climate change.