19 August 2003




NEW YORK, 18 August (UN Headquarters) -- Following is Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message to the 2003 Pacific Islands Forum Meeting, in Auckland, New Zealand, 16 August, delivered by Mark Malloch Brown, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme:

I send my greetings to the members of the Pacific Islands Forum and my best wishes for a successful Summit of the Heads of Government of the 16 member countries.

You meet just two weeks after the high-level meeting in New York, in which the Forum participated and which highlighted the importance of enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations.  I am pleased that the relationship between the United Nations and the Pacific Islands Forum, including between their secretariats, has expanded in recent years, especially in areas related to good governance, human rights, support of democratic processes and rule of law.  We should build on this, particularly in the fields of conflict prevention and post-conflict peace-building where much could be gained from joint assessment missions, election monitoring and training.  The United Nations family stands ready to work closely with the countries of the region in meeting the challenges posed by transnational crime, immigration, asylum seekers, drug trafficking, money laundering, poor governance and terrorism, and to support efforts of the Forum in coordinating regional efforts aimed at resolving conflict through peaceful means.

One challenge of immediate concern to us both is the crisis in the Solomon Islands.  I commend the countries of the Forum for their proactive approach in unanimously supporting, within the framework of the Biketawa Declaration, the collective action being led by Australia and New Zealand and being taken at the request of the Government of the Solomon Islands.  I note that the Forum has informed me and the Security Council of its initiative, and hope it will continue to keep the United Nations informed.  I look forward to the restoration of normalcy in the country, so that the Government of the Solomon Islands, assisted by Forum Members, the donor community and the United Nations, can move quickly to begin long-term peace-building efforts.

Allow me to conclude by expressing the hope that as many Heads of Government from the region as possible will be able to travel to New York next month in order to participate in person in the general debate of the fifty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly.  There will be much to discuss.  I look forward to welcoming you to United Nations Headquarters then.





* *** *