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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Aug. 21) - The Australian
Prime Minister said the Pacific Islands Forum has a new sense of urgency and
relevance, following last week's leaders summit.

Prime Minister John Howard made the comment while reporting to
Parliament on the summit.

He said Pacific leaders endorsed Australia's proposals for
pooled regional governance.

And Howard has told Parliament that the summit in Auckland was
the best he's attended.

"The recent meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum is
certainly far and away the best, most productive and engaged meeting of that
body that I have attended as Prime Minister," he said. "A new urgency
and sense of relevance has been, I think, injected into that body. The very
successful and united cooperative intervention in the Solomon Islands is seen by
the smaller countries in the Forum as evidence that the body can work, that help
is at hand, and that different countries with different sizes can play a very
constructive role.

August 21, 2003

Radio Australia: 


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