FIJI NEWS

Kiribati firm on Fiji

By MAIKELI SERU The President of Kiribati Anote Tong reaffirmed his stand in advocating Fiji’s return to the Pacific Islands Forum. Mr Tong was the key note speaker during the
11 Oct 2012 08:39

By MAIKELI SERU

The President of Kiribati Anote Tong reaffirmed his stand in advocating Fiji’s return to the Pacific Islands Forum.
Mr Tong was the key note speaker during the launch of the Pacific International Relations Forum on Tuesday night, organised by the School of Government Development and International Affairs of the University of the South Pacific.
The launch was at the Holiday Inn Suva.
Mr Tong said the South Pacific should rally behind Fiji in calling for our return to the Pacific Islands Forum. Fiji was suspended in 2009 following the takeover in 2006.
Mr Tong said countries of the region would make a strong voice if they rallied behind Fiji.
“It is not only the governments; it is the people and their countries. The small island States and other countries should get together and rally for Fiji’s return,” President Tong said.
“I have been doing this all along and will continue to advocate for Fiji’s return. If we work together as island States then our voice will make an impact. I want to see Fiji’s return and even if that mean that Fiji be reinstated tomorrow.”
Mr Tong was part of the Fiji Day celebrations yesterday at the invitation of the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.
He said climate and environmental change in the Pacific were two areas the region should raise their concern in unison.
“What happens in other parts of the world affect the lives of our communities. Climate change, world economic crisis, food and fuel prices, conflicts and others are some examples of the interdependent nature of the world we live in today.
“The Pacific is entering a new phase, a paradigm shift where the Pacific needs to chart its own course and lead global thinking in crucial areas like climate change, ocean governance and sustainable development. For a long time we have been branded as small island developing States.
“Our mindset and vision of ourselves see a world where developed countries will continue to dominate global politics, whether we have a say in it or not. We need to look at how we relate with each other in our region. There is greater strength in solidarity,” he said.




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