July 19, 2013
Pacific’s own forum to start next month
Publish date/time: 19/07/2013 [08:11]
Pacific Island countries will be able to voice their concerns and issues in the newly formed Pacific Islands Development Forum without being dominated by bigger neighboring countries.
Deputy Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Penijamini Lomaloma said Australia and New Zealand will be part of the forum however as observers.
Lomaloma said the forum will bring together leaders from the public, the private sector and civil society to address regional sustainable development challenges.
Lomaloma added communities in Fiji are expected to benefit from the projects that will come out of the meet.
More than 200 people are expected to be part of the inaugural Pacific Islands Development Forum next month in Nadi.
Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama will officially open the three days conference.
Leaders and representatives of the 22 Pacific Island Countries attending include the President of Kiribati Anote Tong, Prime Minister of Solomon Islands Gordon Darcy Lilo and Tonga MP Dr Sitiveni Halapua.
The eligible countries are American Samoa, the Northern Marianas, Cook Islands, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Federated States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, Guam, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, New Caledonia, Niue, Pitcairn Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna and Fiji.
The conference will be held on the 5th to the 7th of next month at the Sheraton Fiji Resort at Denarau.
Story by: Sofaia Koroitanoa