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Doing Away with the Mediocrity on the Diplomatic Front

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said: “We cannot carry on our business as usual. We cannot continue to be satisfied with mediocrity and the old ways of doing things. We must
22 Dec 2015 10:30
Doing Away with the Mediocrity on the Diplomatic Front

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said: “We cannot carry on our business as usual. We cannot continue to be satisfied with mediocrity and the old ways of doing things. We must act fast. We must act with aptitude. Otherwise, we may not be able to fully realise the potential from this trajectory.”

These were his wise words of counsel when he opened the Heads of Missions at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva yesterday.

The trajectory he referred to is the unprecedented growth rates and very positive forecasts about our economy. The diplomats are the Government’s ears, eyes and mouthpiece in the international community.

Fijian Diplomatic missions abroad are expected to lift their performance instead of just creating Fijian presence where they are located.

As part of public service reforms, they are required to create the environment that will open up trade and foster stronger bilateral ties with the respective countries.

It’s part of their key performance indicators (KPI).

The move to reallocate our South African Mission to Ethiopia and to expand our Mission in UAE (United Arab Emirates) fits in with the overall strategy.

Mr Bainimarama says we must continue to draw alliances with the European Union, India and UAE to take advantage of their respective lead roles in different areas that will be of strategic importance to us.

He adds, “we of course need to maintain our relationships with other key partners such as China. Our art of diplomacy and indeed foreign policy must not mean that we are too reliant on any one or two countries, always.”

Mr Bainimarama has made it clear, however, that “friends to all’ policy,  will not undermine our dignity and sovereignty as an independent nation.

He says “while everyone now appears to be friendly to us, we should never be in a position that we maintain cordiality at any cost.”

In order to be effective in their roles, diplomats must be well-versed with a number of important documents that guide our overall national objectives.

The documents include the Green Growth Policy Framework, National Trade Policy Framework and a number of initiatives.

There are currently a number of important documents that guide our overall national objectives. We firstly have the Green Growth Policy Framework which intertwines with the National Trade Policy Framework, Five to 20-year National Development Plans and Climate Change.

Mr Bainimarama stressed it will be critically important for all diplomats to understand, comprehend and know these documents because there will be many issues from these documents that will require their expertise as diplomats to advance.

Despite our size compared to more developed and richer industrialised countries, we have shown we can stand our ground on the international stage.

Mr Bainimarama did it in Paris when he delivered a powerful speech on climate change and how it is affecting small island nations in the Pacific.

He is not afraid  to say it like it is. At the United Nations and other international forums, Mr Bainimarama has set the standards for our diplomats.

They need to follow his advice.

NEMANI DELAIBATIKI

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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