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NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, May 26) – The Pacific Island Leaders Forum meeting is to be held in Nuku’alofa October 23 to 26.

The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Greg Urwin announced on May 22 that the dates for the meeting were confirmed after consultation talks were held with the Government of Tonga and other member governments.

Mr Urwin said the 2006 Forum will consider progress on the Pacific Plan for closer regional cooperation and integration as well as giving further direction for Forum mandates in regards to social, economic, sustainable development and political issues.

All meetings are to be held in Nuku’alofa, except for the Leaders Retreat to be held in Vava’u.

Following the Pacific Leaders meetings, the Forum and it’s 13 Dialogue Partners will have a Post–Forum two day meeting on multilateral assistance to the Pacific region on October 27-28.

Meanwhile, in Nuku’alofa, hotel renovations are underway at the Janfull International Dateline where an old hotel wing is under major refurbishment to be completed in September for the meeting.

The Forum Secretariat is also working closely with the Government of Tonga on arrangements for the Forum and Forum-related meetings. The Prime Ministers office in Nuku’alofa confirmed today that they were currently organising venues for these meetings.

The 36th Pacific Island Leaders Forum Meeting was held last year in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

May 29, 2006

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