22 Nov 2012

Fiji's ACP re-admittance an historic occasion, says academic

2:47 pm on 22 November 2012

An Auckland-based Fiji academic says Fiji's re-inclusion the the Pacific ACP counties is an historic occasion.

The Pacific ACP countries have trade and development agreements with the European Union, and normally meet during the annual Pacific Islands Forum meeting.

At a meeting in Papua New Guinea, it was decided all 14 countries will now participate together in all meetings and in all activities relating to PACP.

Auckland University's Dr Steven Ratuva, says the highlights the differences within the Forum between the island states and Australia and New Zealand.

"In this particular case, they're not in the room, so it was easy for the small island states to make their private voices public. The Pacific ACP actually needs Fiji, especially with the EPA agreement with Europe. Because Fiji is such a central figure in terms of economic relations in the Pacific, amongst the small island states. I mean, despite the politics."

Dr Steven Ratuva says he believes full membership of the Forum and the Commonwealth won't happen until after the proposed 2014 election.