NINTH SMALLER ISLAND STATES SUMMIT

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SOUTH PACIFIC FORUM SECRETARIAT Suva, Fiji Islands

 

PRESS STATEMENT October 27, 2000

Leaders and representatives of the Forum’s Smaller Island States (SIS) have met in Tarawa, Kiribati to promote cooperation on key economic, transport and other issues.

The SIS members comprising of the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Republic of Marshall Islands and Tuvalu are a sub-group of the 16-member Pacific Islands Forum, which meets this weekend in Kiribati.

The SIS Summit progressed discussion on improving coordination of air services and noted a report on Air Pacific. The Summit agreed that developing better air services, including frequency and reliability is a key to the establishment of a firm economic foundation and acknowledged that economic factors meant a continuing reliance on Fiji and others as hubs for regional flights on smaller aircraft. It was also noted that the Central Pacific members of the SIS were taking some action among themselves to overcome the problems related to air services.

The Summit noted that all SIS countries have ratified the Kyoto Protocol but expressed concern at the lack of progress on ratification by industrial countries, and that these should now pay urgent attention to the matter.

The SIS recognized the vital role played by information technology in promoting improved trade, tourism and education and expressed concern at the prohibitive costs of Internet service in the region.

The Ninth Smaller Island States summit was chaired by Kiribati.

For additional information, contact: Ulafala Aiavao at UlafalaA@forumsec.org.fj 

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