Pacific leadership focused on improving lives of islanders

New Zealand's Foreign Minister says Pacific leaders are determined to develop the economic potential of each of their island countries.

Gerry Brownlee made this comment after attending the Pacific Islands Forum leaders summit in Apia, where he was standing in for New Zealand's prime minister Bill English.

He told RNZ that the Pacific Islands' leadership is well focused on interacting with other countries to improve living standards for their own people.

“I think one of the stronger outcomes has been the commitment to further develop the regional security strategy and various countries will now look at what they can contribute to that with a view to first making some recommendation to the Forum in the future”.

Brownlee said West Papua is predominantly about human rights issues.

“But of course if you think about Timor Leste started out as being a similar dialogue with the Indonesian government and I think what it is really saying is no desire to see this escalate into out and out warfare. But concern about the situation there and wanting to make sure that the lines of communication remain open. So that there can be a good discussion about how people live in that part of the Pacific,” Brownlee said.


Photo caption: New Zealand Foreign Minister, Gerry Brownlee at the PIF Leaders Summit in Apia, Samoa