Opinion

Diplomatic Success For 2015

This is Ratu Inoke’s speech during the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Awards night at the Grand Pacific Hotel on December 19.     The Ministry of Foreign Affairs carries Fiji’s
21 Dec 2015 10:09
Diplomatic  Success For 2015
Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.

This is Ratu Inoke’s speech during the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Awards night at the Grand Pacific Hotel on December 19.

 

 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs carries Fiji’s name and reputation to all parts of the globe and it’s important that we benchmark our standards for service delivery.

High Commissioners & Ambassadors, Staff Members of the Ministry,  Friends and family members, Ladies and gentlemen.

Ni sa bula vinaka and a very good evening to you all.

Tonight’s awards programme is an important occasion for the Ministry as we recognise and celebrate the good work and achievements of individuals and divisions.

We recognise them because they have continuously pursued excellence and delivered results.

It’s also important to acknowledge the families who have stood beside us in the pursuit of our work, in particular, the spouses and partners present here this evening.  Your contribution and support is crucial and we would not have achieved as much this year without you.

The awards tonight reflect the ministry’s commitment to professional excellence.  We have awards for the rising star, professional excellence, leadership and motivational award, to name a few.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs carries Fiji’s name and reputation to all parts of the globe and it’s important that we benchmark our standards for service delivery.

 

Outlook for 2015

The positive diplomatic outlook this year came as parliamentary democracy returned after the General Elections of September, last year. The new Government’s brief was clear: maximise opportunities for development co-operation with new and non-traditional partners. 

I believe that we have met that main objective but more work needs to be done on other priority areas.

A major success story this year was the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) which has emerged as a legitimate regional and international player after the establishment of its charter.

The PIDF remains an important conduit for addressing priority issues for us in the region.

This year’s PIDF summit was notable for the presence of chief guest and Thailand’s deputy prime minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn.

His presence also allowed the signing of an MOU in September on technical co-operation between our governments.   In fact, Asia has been a particular area of interest for us in the recent past as we sought new development partners.

With Indonesia, for example, since last year, we have signed MOUs in six key areas – Immigration, Marine and Fisheries, Youth and Sports, Illicit Trafficking, Housing and Urban Development and Capacity Building and Technical Cooperation.

Another breakthrough has come with the approval of the $31million climate adaptation grant from Green Climate Fund through the Asian Development Bank. Much of the ground work was done by our Embassy in Seoul.

The grant means that Fiji’s Urban Water Supply and Wastewater Management Project, for which the assistance was given, will now benefit a third of our country’s population.

 Admittedly, much of the attention this year was focused on COP21 in Paris. In terms of commitment from major carbon emitters, we got what we wanted. The evidence is clear.

Most of the key pillars of the Suva Declaration that came out of the PIDF Summit in September were reflected in the outcomes of the COP21 Summit in Paris. This was the powerful voice of small island states proving that their presence counts on the global stage.

I might add that there is general consensus that the outcomes of the COP21 are not perfect, but are definitely better than expected.

As you probably know, under the new civil service restructuring plan, our Climate Change Team, from Director level down, will be operating from the Ministry of National Planning, from next month.

We wish Peter and the team all the best in their new ministry and know they will continue to raise the bar of excellence in service delivery and advocacy.

We will continue to pursue Climate Change issues through the Ambassador At Large’s Office.

We also expect to announce a replacement soon for the late High Commissioner to Malaysia, Ratu Meli Bainimarama.

I would like to also thank all the heads of missions for their hard work this year.

As you know Ambassador Peter Thomson is Fiji’s candidate for the presidency of the 71st United Nations General Assembly, that starts in September next year. We are certainly confident of him receiving support from our international friends and allies.  The successful candidate is likely to be announced in June next year.

We hope Ambassador Thomson is the first from the Pacific Islands to become the president of the UN General Assembly.

Overall, despite the challenges, 2015 has been a successful year and we want to keep it that way.

 I look forward to everyone’s support in 2016 to make it an even bigger year of achievement for our Ministry.

Please continue to enjoy the evening and I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Vinaka vaka levu and Thank you



Five square Da Bang Sale


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