7 Aug 2013

Work to start on PIDF's new Suva head office, says Fiji regime leader

2:58 pm on 7 August 2013

Fiji's prime minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama says work will start immediately on establishing a headquarters in Suva for a new regional body, the Pacific Islands Development Forum.

He announced the establishment of a Secretariat for the grouping of Pacific Island governments, business and civil society at the end of the body's inaugural meeting in Nadi.

The announcement comes a month before the annual gathering of the region's leading political body, the Pacific Island Forum, which has suspended Fiji.

The prime minister says initially the secretariat will be funded by Fiji but other countries have pledged their support.

He says other countries still need to be convinced of the need for the body but they are welcome to join.

Government leaders of Tonga, Nauru, Solomon Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and Papua New Guinea were among those attending the Forum which aims to give governments, business and civil society equal power in decision-making.