By Misha Schubert in The Age
PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has vowed to maintain
The Prime Minister also signalled plans to seek fresh moves by the United Nations to pressure the regime to return to democracy by cutting the number of Fijian troops already deployed on global peacekeeping missions.
Such a move — to come on top of a ban on any new Fijian troops on UN missions — would cut foreign income into
The tough stance was endorsed by Papua New Guinean Prime Minister Michael Somare, in
Mr Rudd also questioned
"You cannot sustain within a family of democracies within the Pacific Island Forum or a family of democracies within the Commonwealth a government like that of Fiji which simply treats with contempt the most fundamental democratic institutions and press freedoms of its people," he said.
After the bilateral meeting, Mr Rudd honoured the "Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels" — the villagers who helped save the lives of Australian soldiers as they repelled the Japanese advance through the muddy jungles of PNG during the Second World War.
Mr Rudd confirmed plans for
The two leaders also discussed a push to track the effectiveness of
They set a goal to lift primary school attendance for Papua New Guinean children from 53 to 70 per cent by 2015.
Moves to establish a national rugby league competition in PNG were also canvassed — including the idea of making participation in training and games conditional on school attendance.
Introducing such conditions has been hailed as a huge success in some remote indigenous communities in