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Ratu Inoke: On Our Terms

The new international alliances forged by Fiji in the past eight years reflect one reality; we will be treated as equals by our partners. Fiji would not be subservient to
15 Oct 2014 10:34
Ratu Inoke: On Our Terms
Our Fijian soldiers serving peacekeeping duties under the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights also staged their own Fiji Day celebration at Camp Ziouani. Photos: RFMF Media Cell

The new international alliances forged by Fiji in the past eight years reflect one reality; we will be treated as equals by our partners.

Fiji would not be subservient to any country, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Ratu Inoke Kubuabola stressed in his maiden parliamentary speech yesterday.

“We are a small and vulnerable country. We can never again permit ourselves to be dependent – politically, strategically or economically – on a narrow group of powerful countries,” he said

“Our security must lie in establishing a broad set of relationships that protects us from the political winds that occasionally blow from one nation or another.

“We will pursue productive relations with as many states as possible under terms that guarantee our equal treatment and that contribute to the well-being of the people of Fiji.”

He made no apologies for Fiji’s growing friendship with China and Russia, now an integral part of Fiji’s geo-political landscape.  This stands in contrast to the pre-2006 status quo when socio-economic ties with Australia and New Zealand were deeply entrenched.

Also part of this new Fijian outlook, Ratu Inoke said, had been the establishment of:

n     Six new overseas missions

n Fiji’s chairmanship of the 133-member developing country bloc of the Group of 77 and China

– Chairmanship of the International Sugar Organisation

– Creation of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF)

The Voreqe Bainimarama led-Government intends to use the PIDF as a platform for building regional co-operation.

Ratu Inoke said: “PIDF’s inauguration has also launched a new era of regional co-operation through partnership and genuine consultation between Governments, civil society groups and the business community, hitherto, excluded from the Pacific governments’ decision-making process.”

Ratu Inoke intends to use the PIDF and Fiji’s growing international stature to champion sustainable development, climate change and cultural exchanges.

Feedback:  josuat@fijisun.com.fj

 

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