Fiji remains firm and tight-lipped about its re-engagement into the Pacific Islands Forum as one of its active members.
With just three weeks remaining before our Pacific leaders meet in Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea), scheduled from the 7th – 11th of September, there is no official word of Fiji leading a Government delegation to PNG.
Fiji’s stand that Australia and New Zealand’s influence in the Forum be re-assessed. In April this year, Fiji maintained its stand that it will not be part of the oldest regional organisation in the Pacific if demands are not met.
Last week, Fiji took part in the Forum Official Committee (FOC) meeting to deliberate on regional issues and prepare a fixed agenda for the leaders’ summit. But there was no official word of a delegation heading to PNG next month.
Forum Secretariat’s Secretary General, Meg Taylor says the onus is on Fiji to engage or use its sovereignty in choosing to be left out.
In an earlier media interview, Dame Taylor said the suspension from PIF has been lifted “I would sincerely hope that Fiji would re-join the forum because I think…when people asked, why is it that you want Fiji to be back well, Fiji has a lot to offer the Forum you know.”
Taylor says, with an abundance of expertise, knowledge and a substantive understanding of issues in the region, Fiji is a key partner to all member countries of the Forum.