29 May 2013

Pacific Forum head sees no threat from bodies like MSG

6:57 pm on 29 May 2013

The chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, the Cook Islands prime minister, Henry Puna, says he has no doubt the Forum will remain the overarching structure in the region.

Recently the Melanesian Spearhead Group has assumed a higher profile on issues such as trade, security and regional politics - matters that might once have been the preserve of the regional body.

But Mr Puna says sub-regionalism has to be encouraged and he welcomes the moves being made by the MSG within its zone.

"The reality is that initiatives like that cater to the realities of the region. There are many, many similarities that are shared by sub regional groups and we need to be aware of these and respect them. At the same time of course the Forum remains the over arching structure if you like for us all here in the Pacific. It is important that we in the Pacific stay together and work together."