Parliamentary Secretary Obhrai Participates in Pacific Islands Forum Session

(No. 249 - August 6, 2010 - 5:10 p.m. ET) Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, today participated in the Pacific Islands Forum’s successful 22nd Post-Forum Dialogue in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

“The Post-Forum Dialogue was very productive,” said Parliamentary Secretary Obhrai. “Canada appreciates the opportunity to engage in frank discussion on issues of concern to our partners in the South Pacific region.”

The Pacific Islands Forum—in which Canada is a dialogue partner—includes 16 independent and self-governing states in the Pacific. The Forum is the region’s premier political and economic policy organization. Forum leaders meet annually to develop collective responses to regional issues.

Parliamentary Secretary Obhrai noted the value for Canada in participating in events such as the Post-Forum Dialogue, where Canada can support the organization’s agenda with respect to the promotion of good governance, freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. In this context, Canada shared with the Forum its deep concern at the Government of Fiji’s lack of progress in preparing for elections and its continuing violations of basic human rights.

“The Dialogue also enabled us to focus on the useful engagement between Canada and Forum members in areas such as fisheries management and climate change adaptation and mitigation,” said Parliamentary Secretary Obhrai.

Canada supports development in the South Pacific region through its Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, as well as through ongoing support for and engagement in United Nations programs and international financial institutions.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Ashley McArthur
Special Assistant to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874