18 Nov 2005

Pacific Islands News Association conference begins in Tonga

9:40 am on 18 November 2005

This year's Pacific Islands News Association conference is has just got under way in Tonga.

The four-day meeting brings media from across the region to discuss the importance of issues including press freedom, good governance and new innovations in technology.

Koro Vaka'uta is there.

"The official opening is being preceded by three days of workshops, hosted by SPC, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, UNIFEM, PINA and CEDAW, the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. The workshops have been on gender equality and freedom of information. The theme of this PINA conference for 2005 is 'Media Freedom in a Transitional Society'. The conference concludes on Monday with its annual general meeting of financial members and the PINA media awards night. The conference proper has been opened by Pesi Fonua, the media council of Tonga chairperson, and the opening address is being given by the acting Prime Minister for Tonga, Siosiua 'Utoikamanu. The keynote address will be given later today by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Greg Urwin. In Nuku'alofa, for Radio New Zealand International, I'm Koro Vaka'uta."