The United Nations Secretary General has highlighted the commitment to gender equality by Pacific Islands Forum leaders.
The Forum leaders met with Ban Ki-moon on the fringes of the UN general assembly being held this week in New York.
Megan Whelan reports.
"In the first meeting of its kind, Ban Ki-moon spoke of his commitment to support for tackling the Pacific's challenges. He told leaders that Australia's recent commitment of more than 300-million US dollars offers a significant opportunity to invest in real change in the fight for gender equality. He says leaders' efforts to create Marine Protected Areas should help ensure a more responsible use of the region's vast ocean and marine resources. On the issue of Fiji, Mr Ban welcomed steps taken towards elections and says the UN stands ready to support a process that would lead to the establishment of democratic order and the rule of law in Fiji. He urged Pacific neighbours to keep encouraging Fiji to make progress towards full respect for human rights, accountability, transparency and inclusiveness."