PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT
TUVALU TAKES UP TEMPORARY FIJI OFFICE
The Tuvalu High Commission in Fiji has been temporarily relocated to the South Pacific Forum Secretariat complex in Suva for a year.
Tuvalu is leasing part of the Secretariat's vacant office space until late 1999 when reconstruction work on its diplomatic complex in the Fiji capital is expected to be completed.
The Secretariat has vacant space as the result of restructuring which was completed earlier this year. The number of divisions was reduced from nine to four and staff numbers reduced by around 20 percent.
Similar lease arrangements are in place for forestry programs run by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community with the payments by both SPC and Tuvalu going into the Forum Secretariat's regular budget.
Tuvalu has a population of nearly 10,000 people and its High Commission in Suva is its only diplomatic mission. Established in 1978, the High Commission acts as the main 'ears and voice' for Tuvalu outside the country, and looks after Tuvalu's interests in Fiji including its representation at the South Pacific Forum Secretariat meetings and those of other regional organizations in Fiji.
The Forum Secretariat is also offering temporary office space to officials from the 16 Forum member countries or regional organizations who may be visiting the Secretariat and who need an office . This is equipped with basic equipment including a computer and is expected to be of value to members without official representation in Suva.
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