19 Feb 2014

Call for Pacific countries to have more say in development

6:19 am on 19 February 2014

There is a call for Pacific Island communities to have more say in the development of their countries.

A civil society conference being held in Fiji has heard from the head of the Pacific Conference of Churches, the Reverend Francois Pihaatae, who says Pacific peoples' cultural values and traditions need to be considered in development decisions.

He says there is a still an element of colonialism in Pacific development decisions with ideas imposed from outside and this is evident in documents such as the Pacific Plan.

"And that is why we want to in the future, if we think about development, if the cultural values of each nation or island where we live in the Pacific, should be taken into account."

Reverend Pihaatae says the newly established Pacific Islands Development Forum, made up exclusively of island nations, would be an ideal body to allow the people of the Pacific to talk first.