Showing posts from January 18, 2015

Regional Relations

Australia resists new-look forum, Former diplomat Tavola draws up regional issues plan By Online Editor
8:24 pm GMT+12, 21/01/2015, Fiji
By Nic Maclellan

The last time an Australian Prime Minister attended the Pacific Islands Forum was in August 2012.

And a number of pressing issues will draw Australian attention to the region in 2015.

Following Fiji’s elections, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has been wooing the Bainimarama government to return to full participation in Forum activities. Over cocktails last October, Bishop and Prime Minister Bainimarama agreed to meet in Sydney to review the regional architecture, scheduled for February.

The deal between Suva and Canberra has caused some concern at the Forum Secretariat, which was not consulted before the summit was scheduled. The agenda is still in flux, because there have been a series of studies on the role and mandate of regional institutions, including the 2012 Winder review of the Forum Secretariat and the 2013 …

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