24 Nov 2014

PNG backs NZ and Australia role in Forum

3:43 pm on 24 November 2014

Papua New Guinea's Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato has indicated his country is not keen to exclude Australia and New Zealand from a revised Pacific Islands Forum.

Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato.

Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has been pushing for changes to regional architecture, and has indicated his country may not join the Pacific Forum again unless the metropolitan countries are removed.

The future make-up of the Forum and other regional organisations is to be explored at discussions by Pacific leaders in Sydney next February.

Mr Pato says there are many international, regional organisations and PNG welcomes the chance to review which structures work best.

"Papua New Guinea's position is, look, we're not opposed to these structures but let's ensure that the best structures will remain and if there's an exercise of refining what will work for the Pacific Islands without excluding Australia and New Zealand, then we should all be working together."

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