7 Aug 2013

Kiribati leader says new body will not usurp Pacific Islands Forum

4:31 am on 7 August 2013

The President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, says a new Fiji-led regional group will not take over the Pacific Islands Forum.

Mr Tong is one of six Pacific Island country leaders attending the Pacific Islands Development Forum which was set up in response to Fiji's suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum.

He says it has a different structure and membership as well as the involvement of civil society and the private sector.

"Its format is different. We're not sitting together around a table as leaders. We're actually talking, getting feedback and there's that interaction. So I believe it is healthy and needed to address the issues which are being raised here."

Anote Tong says with issues like climate change, there's a need for everybody to be involved and Fiji should not be excluded.