5 August, 2010
New Zealand to host 2011 Pacific Islands Forum
New Zealand will host the 2011 Pacific Islands Forum next September, Prime Minister John Key announced today.
At today's Leaders' Retreat, Pacific leaders unanimously accepted New Zealand's offer to host next year's event, which will be held in Auckland from September 6 - 9.
The Pacific Islands Forum is the key regional body for leaders to discuss the political, economic and developmental issues facing the region.
"I am delighted my fellow Pacific leaders have accepted New Zealand's offer to host next year's Forum," says Mr Key.
"The Auckland event will mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Forum, which held its first Leaders' Meeting in Wellington in 1971.
"Next year's Forum will also coincide with the start of the Rugby World Cup, and I know the region's leaders are as keen as I am to see New Zealand and Tonga kick off the opening match in the Pacific's biggest international sporting event since the 2000 Sydney Olympics."
Hosting the 2011 event means New Zealand will chair the Forum until the next Leaders' meeting in 2012.
"This is another example of the Government's strong commitment to our region, and to playing our part to address the challenges we all face," says Mr Key.