Conference of Churches gives cautious welcome to PIDF

Pacific Conference of Churches(PCC)  has welcomed the formation of the Pacific Islands Development Forum ( PIDF ) as as a move towards inclusivity but has warned against paying mere lip service to development in the Pacific.

“From the perspective of the church and faith-based organisations, we have a huge constituency and network which can be used for development, advocacy, education and attitudinal change,”  PCC General Secretary, Rev François Pihaatae said.

“The PIDF move to engage with faith leaders, the media and other institutions which can influence change is positive and we would like to see other regional organisations take similar approaches.”

“Leaders must not gather, talk about important issues and then walk away without putting these points into actions which make positive changes to the region and the people,” Pihaatae said.

“Matters such as climate change, extractive industries, fisheries, gender-based violence, poverty and self-determination must be addressed and the voices of our people must be heard.”

He said if institutions – including churches and governments – wished to remain relevant, they must address the needs of the people with real, sustainable initiatives which protected lifestyles and the environment.

The PIDF is an initiative of Fiji’s interim Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama and wound up it’s inaugural three day meeting on Wednesday.

Outlining how the Secretariat would work, Commodore Bainimarama said it would be very different from the Secretariat of the Pacific Islands Forum.

He said the Pacific didn’t need expensive facilities or an army of overpaid officials, but results from committed publically-minded individuals ultilising scarce resources to maximum effect.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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