13 Feb 2014

Fiji President talks down the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru

2:38 pm on 13 February 2014

The President of Fiji says the recently-established Pacific Islands Development Forum is more in tune with the grassroots than the Pacific Islands Forum, which he says is affected by outside influences.

Ratu Epeli Nailatikau spoke at a function in Nauru last night, praising the President Baron Waqa for his presence at the new forum in Fiji last year, and criticising the long-standing Pacific Islands Forum.

He says the presence of civil society and business groups at the meeting meant it was a genuine Pacific Islands grouping.

He called the period in Fiji since the 2006 coup a social, economic and political revolution, and promised that it will produce a genuine democracy that meets the highest international standards.

Ratu Epeli says Fiji is representing the whole Pacific at the United Nations, putting pressure on the world's biggest carbon polluters, and back home is continuing to assist countries like Kiribati to migrate away from rising sea levels.