10 Apr 2015

Rival Suva-based Pacific organisations meet

7:04 pm on 10 April 2015

The administrative heads of the Pacific Islands Forum and the Pacific Islands Development Forum have held their first ever meeting - two years after Fiji set up the PIDF.

The PIDF's Interim Secretary General, Amena Yauvoli, said after talks with the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Dame Meg Taylor, that this ushers in a new chapter in regional cooperation.

Mr Yauvoli says they agreed to work collaboratively and hold more such meetings between their two Suva-based organisations in the future

Fiji set up the PIDF after it was suspended from the Forum in 2009 because the Fiji regime had reneged on a promise to return the country to democracy.

After last year's election, Fiji's suspension was lifted but Fiji decided to stay outside because it objects to the Forum membership status of Australia and New Zealand.

At last year's opening of the PIDF secretariat, the Fiji leader, Frank Bainiamarama, said he wanted the PIDF to be seen as the region's pre-eminent grouping.

He said he chose for its offices an old colonial building instead of grand headquarters to house a bloated bureaucracy.

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