Former Forum secretary-general Greg Urwin dies
11 August, 2008
The Australian diplomat who headed the Pacific Islands Forum secretariat until earlier this year, Greg Urwin, died in Apia at the weekend after months of illness.
He was 62.
Mr Urwin had formally resigned last month but had not been involved with the organisation since early this year.
Mr Urwin became secretary general of the Forum in 2004 when he was charged with making the Pacific Plan on regional integration and co-operation a reality.
His appointment had been controversial with island countries criticising Canberra for taking a post usually reserved for officials from the smaller countries in the region.
Mr Urwin was given the Public Service Medal for outstanding contribution to the development of Australia’s relations with the Pacific in 2001.
In 2003, he was presented with the Centenary Medal for outstanding public service in advancing Australia’s interest in the region.
Pacific leaders are to meet next week in Niue to choose his successor.
Three candidates, Willkie Rasmussen of the Cook Islands, Tuiloma Neroni Slade of Samoa and the current acting Forum secretary general, Feleti Teo of Tuvalu, have been short-listed for the region’s top job.
Source: Radio New Zealand International
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