THE Fiji Government is privileged to be the first to give the Pacific Islands Development Forum a permanent base in Fiji.
Prime Minister Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama in opening the new Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) building in Suva yesterday said the PIDF was a grand coalition of Pacific governments, civil society organisation and business, all working together to enhance the cause of Pacific people everywhere.
"All around us in recent years, we have witnessed the rejuvenation of Suva as we cement its position as the true hub of the Pacific, the PIDF is another great adornment to the harbour city we all love," Rear Admiral Bainimarama said.
"We want the PIDF to reflect the values of the grassroots, ordinary Pacific islanders because that is who we are.
"You will all agree that the restoration and refurbishment of this building has provided us with a very serviceable headquarters for the Secretariat.
"While we are starting small, let there be no doubt that the thirteen Pacific countries that have already joined Fiji in the PIDF have big ambitions for the organisation."
He said for the first time, they had an organisation that gave voice to the aspirations of all Pacific Islanders and not just the elites.
He added in two months time, the second Pacific Islands Development Forum would be held in Nadi.
Members of the PIDF and invited guests also took part in a small celebration to mark the Prime Minister's 60th birthday after the official opening of the new PIDF building.
Member countries are Fiji, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, New Caledonia, Tonga, Tahiti, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia.