14 Jul 2009

Fewer countries turn up for Pacific Youth Festival in Fiji

10:38 am on 14 July 2009

A Pacific Youth Festival hosted by Fiji's interim government has attracted fewer participants than expected.

Twenty-two countries were invited to the week-long event to discuss youth development but only thirteen are attending, largely due to economic circumstances.

The festival is supported by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, or SPC.

Our correspondent in Suva, Matelita Ragogo, says the interim government wants the festival to be a success and that includes having a reasonable turnout.

"Say if SPC has offered to pay accommodation for one delegation, just as an example, even if the delegation didn't want to come, SPC probably will pressure them from the perspective that we've already paid and made accommodation arrangement, you've gotta come."

Matelita Ragogo says the interim government has censored some of the speeches and removed some of the original presenters.