26 July 2010
PM to visit Vanuatu for Pacific Islands Forum
Prime Minister John Key will leave for Vanuatu on August 3 to attend both the 41st Pacific Islands Forum leaders' meeting and the Post-Forum Dialogue.
Mr Key says the deepening and strengthening of New Zealand's relations with its closest neighbours in the Pacific is a high priority for the Government.
"The annual Forum leaders' meeting is the main event in the Pacific calendar. It's a valuable opportunity for regional counterparts to discuss how we can work together to address the issues and challenges facing our region.
"Delegates at this year's Forum are expected to discuss improved development assistance through the implementation of the Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific."
Mr Key says the Pacific's response to the global financial crisis, and other social and economic issues, will be under the spotlight.
"The region's progress in advancing the Millennium Development Goals, which set ambitious outcomes to be achieved by 2015, including poverty reduction, fostering growth, and addressing maternal and child mortality, will be an important subject for review.
"As a key donor as well as member of the region, New Zealand is strongly supportive of efforts to ensure our development assistance makes a real difference to the people of the Pacific.
"The Post-Forum Dialogue will provide an opportunity for Forum countries to engage with those partners from outside the region which have a significant interest in the security, stability and development of the Pacific. This will boost New Zealand's efforts to foster more effective and coordinated international support for economic development of Pacific nations," Mr Key says.
Mr Key will return from Vanuatu on August 6.Tweet