29 Apr 2005

Forum summit delay gives chance for more extensive consultation on Pacific Plan

10:20 am on 29 April 2005

News that this year's Pacific Islands Forum leaders' summit is being delayed has been welcomed by New Zealand NGOs.

The summit, which is now scheduled to go ahead in October, is expected to endorse the Pacific Plan on closer links between Forum members.

There have been concerns over the lack of consultation, so the delay has pleased the Council for International Development.

Its executive director, Rae Julian, says it will give more time to discuss and push for changes in the document.

She says their aim is to have civil society given more recognition in the development of the Plan.

"Anything that is part of the Pacific Plan - whether it is security, whether it is transport or trade, cannot really work unless all of the individual countries are behind it. It is no use governments at the top making decisions unless they have got the people with them."