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PRESS STATEMENT April 28, 1999

This year's 30th South Pacific Forum meeting of Forum Leaders will be held Tuesday 5th October, in Koror, the capital of Palau.

The Government of Palau, which is hosting the 30th Forum, confirmed the dates following consultation with the other 15 Forum member states.

The series of meetings in early October will begin on the 1st October with a two day meeting of the Forum Officials Committee. This comprises senior representatives from the member states and is the governing body for the South Pacific Forum Secretariat.

Sunday 3rd October will be the Official Opening of the Forum Leaders meeting, followed by the Leader's Retreat the next day where the Leaders meet in closed session to discuss regional issues of common concern.

The formal 1999 Forum session will be held on the 5th October. At this session, Leaders usually endorse a Forum Communiqué outlining the region's agreed positions on a variety of important issues and setting the mandate for action by the Forum Secretariat and the region over the next year.

On the Agenda this year will be consideration by Leaders of Ministerial Reports from a series of Ministerial Meetings held in the year including the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting, the Forum Trade Ministers Meeting, the Forum Communications Ministers Meeting and the Forum Aviation Ministers Meeting as well as consideration of issues of concern to members and the region.

The annual South Pacific Forum Meetings are usually followed by a series of meetings between the Forum and Post Forum Dialogue Partners at Ministerial level. The dates for these meetings have been set for the 7th and 8th October when the Forum will engage in high level discussions with the Forum's Dialogue Partners as well as communicate decisions made at the Forum meeting on major issues of concern to the region.

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