10 Oct 2006

Fiji expected to nominate candidate for Forum secretary-general position

4:15 pm on 10 October 2006

Fiji is expected to nominate a candidate for the position of secretary-general at the Forum Secretariat, currently held by Australian, Greg Urwin.

The deputy chief executive at the Foreign Affairs department, Amena Yauvoli, says the call for Fiji to put up a name for the post was made by Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Mr Urwin has said that he would be available for a second term but the decision to reconfirm his appointment, or opt for another candidate, will be made later this month at the Forum by leaders of the Forum Island countries.

Mr Yauvoli says the reason is not that Melanesian countries have expressed dissatisfaction with Mr Urwin's performance.

"I think they're working on the undertaking that Greg [Urwin] would be in for only one term. I think that was a promise made by prime minister, John Howard, and if I recall very well, that is one of the major reasons."

Mr Yauvoli would not discuss the names of any possible candidates and says it will be up to the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, to make a decision.