Forum leaders meeting

'Forum Family' to convene in Suva for the 51st leaders' meeting

Pacific leaders from 18 member countries, including Australia and New Zealand, will gather face-to face for the first time since 2019 to discuss a basket of issues affecting the region.

The meeting, hosted by the Fijian government, is billed as one of the most significant in recent history as the region gradually emerges from the grips of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Fijian government sees the convening as "an opportunity to strengthen relationships and reset goals and priorities for regionalism and collective action as a Forum Family".

Stronger Forum Secretariat mooted by Samoa leader

The annual Forum leaders summit is to be held in Apia next month at which point Samoa Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, will assume the chairmanship.

He said the Forum is not as effective as it could be.

RNZI reports the Samoa leader, who also chaired the Forum back in 2003, said the leaders have long wanted the organisation to be more focussed.

"We tend to deal with too many things," Tuilaepa said.

"The problem that we continually face is that we have the Secretariat that needs to strengthen as well.

Forum summit underway in FSM

The summit is being held under the banner "Small and Far: Challenges for Growth".

The meeting begins with the Smaller Islands States Leaders meeting, while all of the island countries will be represented at Thursday's meeting of the group of African Caribbean and Pacific group of nations.

The summit proper gets underway on Thursday with the plenary session set for Friday and the leaders retreat scheduled for Saturday.

West Papua an issue

The Forum's failure to undertake a promised fact-finding mission to West Papua.

Samoan PM to attend Pacific Forum Leaders meeting and UN General Assembly

Tuilaepa will also attend the 71st United Nations General Assembly in New York on 13 September – 4 October 2016.