Australia Provides Extra Funds To Pacific Forum

Australia is to provide an additional $1 million to the Pacific Islands Forum.

The funding was announced by Prime Minister John Howard. It is in addition to Australia’s $4 million annual funding.

Text of statement released by the Prime Minister, John Howard, at the Pacific Islands Forum, in New Zealand.

AUSTRALIA BOOSTS SUPPORT FOR PACIFIC REFORM AGENDA

I am pleased to announce that Australia will provide an additional $1 million to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat to help implement the reform agenda agreed today by Forum leaders. The contribution will be immediate and is in addition to Australia’s annual funding to the Secretariat of $4 million.

The additional funds will be linked closely to reforms mandated by leaders, in particular to practical proposals for pooling regional resources to strengthen the governance capabilities of island countries.

The Australian Government also welcomes the commitment of leaders reflected in the Auckland Declaration to pursue the reform agenda in the Pacific. Continued reform is vital. Australia’s focus is to work with our friends and neighbours to support good governance in Pacific Island countries. This includes strengthening regional collaboration through pooling of resources where that approach can provide real benefits.

The Auckland Declaration is based on the report of an Eminent Persons’ Group commissioned last year to review the Forum. The report stresses the need to pool scarce regional resources, to restructure the Secretariat and to focus the Forum’s attention on the key issues of governance, security, economic growth and sustainable development.

I look forward to working with Pacific neighbours in taking this agenda forward.

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