[17 September 2012, Suva, Fiji] Work is now underway at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat to prepare for a review of the Pacific Plan.

The Review was endorsed by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders at their annual meeting held last month in the Cook Islands.

"At their Retreat on Aitutaki, Forum Leaders endorsed the Terms of Reference for the Review and agreed that it be led by Sir Mekere Morauta of Papua New Guinea, with the support of two senior officials from Forum countries and two consultants," explained Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General of the Forum Secretariat.

"The Secretariat has commenced a selection process so that the full Review team is appointed by the end of October."

Mr Slade added: "The Forum Leaders have asked for an updated Pacific Plan to be presented to them when they convene the 44th Pacific Islands Forum in the Republic of the Marshall Islands next year. Our role as a Secretariat is to facilitate the Pacific Plan Review and to help coordinate all the necessary country visits and consultations that such a Review will require."

"The Terms of Reference for the Review set out an ambitious scope of work that will involve Leaders, officials, and a range non-state actors from across the region in assessing past performance and mapping out a path ahead," said Secretary General Slade.

"While the Forum Secretariat is supporting the review of the Pacific Plan, we will at the same time press ahead with on-going reforms of our corporate systems," said Mr Slade. "This work is in-line with the recommendations of the recent organisational review of the Secretariat which was considered by Leaders in the Cook Islands."

Mr Slade stressed that reform and improvement of the Secretariat is ongoing business.

"The Secretariat is moving ahead with many of the recommendations of its review," said Mr Slade.

"Leaders agreed that some of the Secretariat review recommendations will need to be carefully reconsidered following the Pacific Plan Review to ensure that our strategic mandate remains coherent, clear, and consistent with the recommendation arising out of the Pacific Plan Review."