31 Jul 2009

Commonwealth head to attend Forum meeting

10:15 am on 31 July 2009

The Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma is to attend the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' Meeting in Cairns, Australia next week.

Mr Sharma attends at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd as host, in line with the Commonwealth's status as an observer at the Forum.

The Secretary-General will take the opportunity to discuss the Pacific region's priorities and preoccupations in a range of areas, including economic, environmental and political issues.

The Secretary-General will also discuss Commonwealth issues and activities in the Pacific, and preparations for the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago in November 2009.

Before his arrival in Cairns, Mr Sharma will attend a conference hosted by Australia's Lowy Institute for International Policy in Brisbane on 3 August, focused on the impact of the global economic crisis on the Pacific islands.

Following Cairns, the Mr Sharma will also visit the Commonwealth Youth Programme South Pacific Centre in Solomon Islands.

While in Solomon Islands, the Secretary-General will also call on the Governor-General Mr Frank Kabui, Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua, and other Ministers and Constitutional office-holders.