PIDF declaration seen as strong political move

An Australian academic says a declaration coming out of the Pacific Islands Development Forum may create difficulties for next week's larger regional meeting in Port Moresby.

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the PIDF has never been stronger and will sign a Suva Declaration, described as a common position on climate change, to take to a global meeting in Paris.

Jenny Hayward-Jones from the Lowy Institute says if the Pacific Islands Forum was to try to do a similar declaration, there could be confusion about which reflected the region.

Hayward-Jones says the timing of the PIDF move, a few days out from the Port Moresby meeting, makes a strong political statement.

“It's that forum which has produced a declaration that reflects the concerns of small island countries. Of course next week Australia and New Zealand will be in the mix so it will be considerably more difficult to reach agreement that satisfies everyone. We have seen here, Prime Minister Bainimarama try and get out in front and try and develop a strong voice from the small island states that isn't confused by Australia and New Zealand's position,” said Hayward-Jones.