27 Oct 2005

Forum concludes, accepts Pacific Plan and admits Tokelau as observer

5:53 pm on 27 October 2005

The Pacific Islands Forum has issued a communique at the last day of its summit in Papua New Guinea.

The leaders have adopted the Pacific Plan on regional cooperation but they have not agreed to labour mobility which was a key wish of the poorer countries.

But New Zealand's Prime Minister, Helen Clark, says the endorsement of the Pacific Plan will boost the development of some of the smallest and poorest countries in the world.

The statement makes no mention of the conflict in the Indonesian province of Papua, whose supporters lobbied for it to be admitted as an observer.

The Forum has admitted Tokelau as an observer and Australia and New Zealand have boosted its trust fund.

The French territories are being given associated membership which was not accorded to Timor Leste because of its conflicting bid to join ASEAN.

Tonga will host the Forum next year.