Fiji will host the second ‘Engaging with the Pacific’ meeting in Nadi next week, with 20 countries already confirming their participation, according to the Fiji government.
Development partners including Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Japan and India will also attend.
The conference aims to promote regional collaboration on issues such as climate change, human trafficking, drug trafficking, immigration and custom issues and cooperation.
Fiji’s Deputy permanent secretary (Political and treaties) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sila Balawa says, “our Pacific island brothers in Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Wallis & Futuna, French Polynesia Kiribati and Timor Leste have confirmed their participation.
“Others are likely to confirm their delegates and numbers before Monday next week but most of those confirmed have indicated that some head of state, government leaders and foreign ministers will be coming.”
The ‘Engaging with the Pacific’ meeting was first convened after Fiji was suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum in 2009 in response to the military coup there, and failure to hold elections. The Pacific Islands Forum first met in 1971, and Fiji’s suspension was the first in its history. The Fiji meeting has also been seen as a response to the isolationist policies of Fiji’s neighbours Australia and New Zealand.