AFTER the Forum leaders’ retreat in Apia, a final press conference was scheduled for 4pm. But more than three hours later, leaders were still arguing over the wording for the communiqué of the 48th Pacific Islands Forum.
The drafting committee could not reach agreement on climate policy, and sent the communique back to leaders for a final decision. Hours later, when Forum host Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi of Samoa finally fronted the media, he was concerned that journalists were standing between him and his dinner! He denied it had been a tense retreat: “We smiled and laughed – it was one of the happiest meetings in my lifetime. But you know, climate change issues are very complicated.”
This final delay in the retreat did not match the tenor of the week, with the people and government of Samoa organising a smoothly-run and positive event.
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