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PM, Key Meet For First Time Since 2006

Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama officially met with New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, for the first time yesterday on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New
01 Oct 2015 09:59
PM, Key Meet For First Time Since 2006
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Fijian PM Voreqe Bainimarama in New York on the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly.

Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama officially met with New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, for the first time yesterday on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

Mr Key said the 2014 elections in Fiji had restored the diplomatic balance.

And NZ High Commissioner to Fiji Mark Ramsden said that the meeting was a positive sign of Fiji and New Zealand’s ongoing re-engagement.

This was the first time for the two Prime Ministers to officially meet after the 2006 takeover and the 2014 general elections.

Mr Bainimarama and Mr Key met in New York during a cocktail hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

According to Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, our PM extended an invitation for Mr Key to visit Fiji, most likely by the end of this year, followed by a reciprocal visit to New Zealand in early 2016.

“New Zealand Foreign Minister Mr Murray McCully and I have been working together over the last three years for the two leaders to meet as part of normalising our relations,” Ratu Inoke said.

Mr Bainimarama during the meeting asked for NZ support in its bid for presidency of the United Nations General Assembly’s 71st Session (2016 – 2017).

He said that the Pacific islands had never had the privilege of holding the General Assembly’s presidency and that Fiji believed the time was right to do so.

Mr Bainimarama said Fiji’s candidate was Ambassador Peter Thomson and he was the right man for this role.

He also congratulated New Zealand on its role at the UN Security Council, and thanked NZ for convening the open debate on “Peace and Security Challenges facing Small Island Developing States”. He noted that this useful initiative took place during New Zealand’s presidency of the Security Council.

On the subject of oceans, Prime Minister Key said that New Zealand was very pleased to be able to announce the declaration of one of the world’s largest oceans sanctuaries within the New Zealand EEZ in the Kermadec region. He said the sanctuary would cover 15 per cent of New Zealand’s EEZ, an area twice the size of NZ’s landmass.

Mr Bainimarama welcomed this news, and advised Mr Key of Fiji’s own efforts to safeguard Sustainable Development Goal 14, the Ocean’s Goal, by inaugurating the Triennial Conferences on Oceans and Seas.

He said that the governments of Fiji and Sweden would co-host the first of these conferences in Fiji in June 2017.

Meanwhile Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop also announced their assistance of $15million for Pacific island countries businesses through the Asian Development Bank and $7m through the United Nations women empowerment.

Feedback:  litia.cava@fijisun.com.fj

 

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