FORUM CHAIRMAN HENRY BRIEFED ON ACTIVITIES

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SOUTH PACIFIC FORUM SECRETARIAT

PRESS STATEMENT March 20, 1998

BY SECRETARY-GENERAL LEVI

The Secretary General of the South Pacific Forum Secretariat, Mr. Noel Levi, CBE, has met with Cook Islands Prime Minister and current Chairman of the South Pacific Forum, Sir Geoffrey Henry, to brief him on Forum-related issues and activities.

Mr. Noel Levi is in the Cook Islands on the first leg of a programme of calls to member countries of the South Pacific Forum over the next few months following his appointment as Secretary General by Leaders at their meeting late last year in the Cook Islands.

During the meeting, there were discussions on a number of possible issues likely to come up on the agenda of the Forum Leaders Summit later in the year in the Federated States of Micronesia.

The Chairman was also briefed on a number of upcoming regional and international meetings including the Pacific ACP Ministerial Meeting next month, the Civil Aviation Ministerial Meeting, the Forum Regional Security Committee meeting and the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting.

Mr. Levi said, "The visit was primarily to continue the Secretariat’s objective of reaching out to its member countries to discuss issues of major concern to them and to the region as a whole."

Sir Geoffrey in welcoming the Secretary General reiterated the importance his Government attaches to the Forum as an institution for the region to collectively articulate issues of common concern.

The Cook Islands Prime Minister continues as Chairman of the South Pacific Forum until the next Forum meeting in the Federated States of Micronesia, when the President of that host Government then takes over.

The Forum member countries are Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

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