NAURU NAMED TO HOST FORUM MEETING

SUVA, Fiji Islands (February 23, 2001 - PINA Nius Online)---Nauru is the compromise selection to host this year's Pacific Islands Forum meeting.

Fiji had offered to host the meeting and said it was its turn. But New Zealand strongly opposed this because of last year's Fiji coup and instead promoted a bid by Niue.

Forum Chairperson Teburoro Tito, the President of Kiribati, has been consulting regional and Australian and New Zealand leaders about the venue.

During a stopover in Suva on his way home from a visit to Japan he made the announcement it would be Nauru.

A statement issued by the Forum Secretariat in Suva said:

"The President of Kiribati and current Chairman of the 16-member Pacific Islands Forum, HE Teburoro Tito, has announced that this year’s Forum Leaders’ meeting will be held in Nauru.

"President Tito was tasked by Forum Leaders at last October's summit in Tarawa, Kiribati to consult with members on a suitable venue for the 2001 meeting, after more than one bid was received for the venue of the 32nd Forum. The Leaders had earlier set the 2001 meeting dates for August.

"The Suva-based Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat is now making the necessary arrangements for the meeting of Forum Leaders in Nauru.

"Nauru previously hosted the Forum in 1976 and 1993.

"The series of Forum-related meetings usually begins with a session of the Forum Officials Committee (FOC), which helps to streamline the agenda, relevant papers and recommendations for Leaders to consider. The FOC comprises senior officials from the member states who also form the governing body of the Forum's administrative arm, known as the South Pacific Forum Secretariat.

"The formal opening of the Forum is followed by the Forum Leaders Retreat, where Leaders will meet on their own to consider key issues of concern to the region. The formal session of the Forum will endorse a 2001 Forum Communiqué, outlining the Forum's position and decisions on these key issues.

"The Post Forum Dialogue with the Forum's ten Dialogue Partners (Canada, People's Republic of China, European Union, France, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom and the United States of America) will be held after the Forum proper. The Dialogue is the primary multilateral consultation vehicle between development partners and the region. It is conducted at ministerial level and covers a wide range of common issues, activities and programs.

"The exact dates in August for the Forum-related meetings will be confirmed shortly."

PREVIOUS FORUM MEETINGS AND VENUES

1971 New Zealand (Wellington) 1972 Australia (Canberra) Fiji (Suva) 1973 Western Samoa (Apia) (NB: renamed Samoa in 1997) 1974 Cook Islands (Rarotonga) 1975 Tonga (Nuku'alofa) 1976 New Zealand (Rotorua) (mini-Forum) Nauru (Aiwo) Fiji (Suva) (mini-Forum) 1977 Papua New Guinea (Port Moresby) 1978 Niue (Alofi) 1979 Solomon Islands (Honiara) 1980 Kiribati (Tarawa) India (New Delhi) (NB: mini-Forum on margins of CHOGRM) 1981 Vanuatu (Port Vila) 1982 New Zealand (Rotorua) 1983 Australia (Canberra) 1984 Tuvalu (Funafuti) 1985 Cook Islands (Rarotonga) 1986 Fiji (Suva) 1987 Western Samoa (Apia) 1988 Tonga (Nuku'alofa) 1989 Kiribati (Tarawa) 1990 Vanuatu (Port Vila) 1991 Federated States of Micronesia (Pohnpei) 1992 Solomon Islands (Honiara) 1993 Nauru (Aiwo) 1994 Australia (Brisbane) 1995 Papua New Guinea (Madang) 1996 Republic of Marshall Islands (Majuro) 1997 Cook Islands (Rarotonga) 1998 Federated States of Micronesia (Pohnpei) 1999 Palau (Koror) 2000 Kiribati (Tarawa)

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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