14 Jul 2009

Human rights and political issues not on agenda for Pacific Youth Festival in Fiji

10:39 am on 14 July 2009

Human rights issues and political discussions are off the agenda for the second Pacific Youth Festival being held in Suva.

Fiji's interim government is hosting the week-long festival which has brought together about five hundred young people from thirteen countries in the region.

The spokesperson for the secretariat of the festival, William Naisara, says the focus is on development themes that do not contravene Fiji's Public Emergency Regulations.

"There's a whole range of development issues we are focusing on and we have the flexibility to talk about even with the Public Emergency Regulations in place. It has not hindered the developmental aspects and focus that this festival is trying to achieve."

William Naisara says young people from New Zealand and Australia are missing an opportunity to add their voice because of their countries' stance on Fiji.