FORUM SECRETARY GENERAL LEVI

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SOUTH PACIFIC FORUM SECRETARIAT Palikir, Federated States of Micronesia

PRESS STATEMENT August 19, 1998

BRIEFS IN-COMING FORUM CHAIR NENA

The President of the Federated States of Micronesia, H.E. Jacob Nena, was today briefed on Forum activities by the Secretary General of the Forum Secretariat, Mr. Noel Levi, CBE, during a meeting in the FSM national capital, Palikir.

President Nena is the in-coming Chair of the South Pacific Forum which will hold its 29th annual Forum Leader's summit in Palikir next week.

The Secretary General arrived in the Federated States of Micronesia today for the latest in a series of visits to member states since taking up his appointment earlier this year, and will stay on for the Forum and associated meetings.

During their discussions, Mr. Levi outlined Forum activities over recent years and briefed President Nena on a number of regional issues that are of interest to the 16 Forum member states, in areas such as economic development, structural reforms, trade and investment and political and international affairs.

"We always welcome the opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues with our members and to receive feedback from them on how the Secretariat can better respond to their needs, especially in terms of quality policy advice on matters of common concern and other areas of assistance," Mr. Levi said.

"Such issues will be the focus of Forum Leaders next week who will help to guide both the Secretariat's 1999 Work Programme as well as the region's response to social, economic and environmental challenges facing our part of the world," he said.

The current Chair of the Forum is Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Sir Geoffrey Henry, who will hand over the Chairmanship during the Official Opening ceremonies for the 29th Forum meeting on Monday 24 August. The chairmanship is held for a year by the Head of the Host Government of the annual Forum meeting.

Forum-related discussions begin on Thursday and Friday this week when the Forum Officials Committee, comprising senior representatives from the member states, meets to discuss issues on the formal agenda. The Committee will report to the Forum Leaders who will meet on Monday and Tuesday, 24 and 25 August, to agree on a 1998 Forum Communiqué.

Following the Leader's Summit, the Post Forum Dialogues will be held at ministerial-level with the nine Dialogue Partners (Canada, European Union, People's Republic of China, France, Republic of Korea, Japan, Malaysia, United Kingdom and the United States).

The Post Forum Dialogues, set for Thursday and Friday next week, 27 and 28 August, are the main consultative vehicle for multi-lateral assistance between the Forum and the nine Partners.

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