The Chairman of the Pacific Islands Forum and Prime Minister of Tonga, Hon. Feleti Sevele has paid tribute to the late Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat who passed away in Apia, Samoa on Saturday night after being ill for the last eight months.

"One behalf of the 16 Forum Leaders, I offer my sincere condolences and heartfelt sympathies to the family of Mr Urwin both in Samoa and Australia, friends and staff of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat for the loss of a loved one, friend and colleague.

Greg was a real son of the Pacific, and attended to the needs of all Forum countries as equals. He was a true regional public servant.

On his appointment in 2004, Mr Urwin was charged by Forum Leaders with making the Pacific Plan on regional integration and cooperation a reality. In its third year after the Leaders endorsed it in 2005, the Pacific Plan is now reaping fruits.

The Forum and the wider Pacific region will truly miss Mr Urwin."