A SUMMIT of Pacific island nations due to be held in Papua New Guinea next week will go ahead as planned, after Niue, the forum’s chair overruled a decision to postpone, officials said today.
Host nation Papua New Guinea announced late yesterday that the summit, called to decide whether Fiji should be suspended from the 16-nation group, had been postponed until February.
PNG Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare said he had delayed the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) to allow self-appointed Fijian leader Frank Bainimarama to attend.
Commodore Bainimarama said he would not come to the January 27 meeting because he needed to deal with the recent flooding crisis in his country.
But Mr Somare’s office was forced to back down today after chairing nation Niue overruled the postponement decision.
The leaders of the PIF are to meet to decide what action should be taken against Fiji after Commodore Bainimarama reneged on an earlier promise to hold elections by March this year to restore democracy.
”(The forum) is going ahead on the 27th,” a spokeswoman for Mr Somare said.
“The interim Prime Minister (of Fiji) had asked for deferment but the chair has decided that it will go ahead.”
The spokeswoman could not comment on the reason for pressing ahead with the meeting, and said it was unclear whether Commodore Bainimarama would attend. “I can only say that we’ve been informed that the meeting’s going ahead,” she said.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, could not immediately confirm the news or whether he would attend.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key confirmed he and a number of Pacific Island leaders would travel on a New Zealand air force flight to Port Moresby on Monday for the summit.
Congratulations Isoa Gavidi for resigning, it was not a good move being entangled with the illegal regime. Whether you’re broke or not, at the end of the day it is integrity that counts.
Congratulations Tui Kubuca for doing your best with what little you have, and urging that the rule of law to be reinstated.