D30

19 July 1995

FRENCH NUCLEAR TESTING: REGIONAL ACTION COMMITTEE

The first meeting of a South Pacific Forum Regional Action Committee to coordinate responses to France's decision to resume nuclear testing in the South Pacific will take place in Suva today.

The formation of the Regional Action Committee follows positive responses to the Australian Government's consultations with Forum countries on possible regional measures announced in the Prime Minister's statement of 23 June. The Regional Action Committee is expected to consider a work program, including further meetings, which will enable it to report to Heads of Government at the South Pacific Forum in Madang, Papua New Guinea, on 14-15 September on further Forum action on French nuclear testing.

Eight South Pacific Governments - Australia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands and Tuvalu - are expected to participate in the first meeting at the South Pacific Forum Secretariat, with most being represented by their diplomatic missions in Suva. Australia will be represented by Mr Greg Urwin, Ambassador to Fiji and Tuvalu in his capacity as Australia's Permanent Representative to the South Pacific Forum Secretariat.

CANBERRA