8 Aug 2008

Pacific Forum says leaders at summit will see significant progress on Pacific Plan

9:54 am on 8 August 2008

While the absence of democracratic government in Fiji is expected to dominate discussions at this month's Pacific summit in Niue, the region's leaders will also be updated on progress in the Pacific Plan.

The Plan which focusses on co-operation and the integration of services, is not three years old.

The acting secretary general of the Forum, Feleti Teo, says substantial progress has been made.

This includes labour mobility with Australia expected to announce a plan similar to New Zealand's now year old Recognised Seasonal Employment scheme.

He says in addition the removal of regulatory hurdles has brought cheaper communication services to many countries and examples of work done to strengthen the accountability and integrity institutions:

"Works done around the areas of audit and ombudsman service which is an area on which the small island states are quite keen, because on their own they couldn't provide their own services. So progress has been made in grouping those countries, that are not able to provide those services on their own, to work as a group."