14 Sep 2016

Leaders independence at Forum questioned

3:21 pm on 14 September 2016

Civil society groups are questioning the independence of island leaders in the Pacific Islands Forum while Australia and New Zealand are at the table.

PIANGO Executive Director, Emele Duituturanga.

PIANGO Executive Director, Emele Duituturanga. Photo: supplied

This comes after what the Pacific Islands Association of NGOs described some outcomes from last week's leaders summit in the Federated States of Micronesia as disappointing.

Its executive director Emele Duituturaga was in Pohnpei and she said the passion and enthusiasm Pacific leaders had for some issues were not reflected in the final communique.

"Well on particular issues like West Papua there is definitely a limitation. We know this because we were on the ground, we were talking to leaders there was a draft text that got watered down. So we do question the extent to which our leaders can be bold and courageous in the presence of our geo-political neighbours like Australia and New Zealand."

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