Pacific Island Nations form Group

PNG NATIONAL Planning Minister Charles Abel says Pacific Island countries have formed a development forum that will be without Australia and New Zealand.
Abel returned from Fiji last week after representing the country at the first Pacific Islands Development Forum leaders meeting.
He said the countries had decided to form the forum with its first secretariat to be based in Fiji.
He said the forum would give  small island states the opportunity to have their voices heard instead of being dictated to all the time.
He said the forum would explore opportunities that recognised and rewarded local innovation in environment and social development entrepreneurship. 
Australia and New Zealand are excluded from it.
He said they discussed how they would encourage sustainable economies among Pacific Island countries.
The forum’s function is different to the Pacific Islands Forum or the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
“This forum is going to be focused on a sustainable and a new economic model in the Pacific,” he said, adding that the Pacific faced issues such climate change issues and its huge tuna supply.
He was accompanied by Kirwina-Goodenough MP Douglas Tomuriesa.
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