Events That Show We Are Moving Forward As A Nation

In the last few days, we have had some positive news that will make us smile and proud of the progress we have made so far as a nation. Last
18 Oct 2016 11:07
Events That Show  We Are Moving Forward As A Nation

In the last few days, we have had some positive news that will make us smile and proud of the progress we have made so far as a nation.

Last Friday, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, in his capacity as president of the Fiji Rugby Union, announced in Sydney a major deal with the Australian Rugby Union.

The deal allows a Fijian team to compete in Australia’s National Rugby Championships next year.

It creates an opportunity for local players to be involved in a top rugby competition and getting exposed to the reality of a higher level of standard than what  they are used to.

This competition provides a springboard for these players to break into the Super Rugby and Vodafone Flying Fijians circles.

It is also an incentive for them to remain here instead of going to Europe.

This could be the master stroke that will lift both Fijian and Australian rugby to new heights – something they both need right now.

Another welcome news is the lifting of the ban on foreign journalists Barbara Dreaver(TVNZ Pacific Correspondent), Michael Field (Former Fairfax employee), and Sean Dorney (Former Australian Broadcasting Corporation employee).

A Government statement says any journalist is free to visit the country and report without restrictions after they are accredited by the Department of Information.

It says it has no fear of honest criticism or critical reporting of events here and reminds journalists of their obligation to the principle of being fair and balanced.

That’s fair comment. Any journalist worth his or her salt should strive at all times to follow this principle.

One of the pillars of our democracy is the freedom of the media. The lifting of the ban helps strengthen this pillar.

Another significant development is the visit by the World Bank vice-president for East Asia and Pacific, Victoria Kwakwa.

Six months ago the World Bank opened an office in Suva. Her visit underscores the importance of Fiji to the World Bank.

She recognises the important role that Fiji plays in the region and the world in general. She said Fiji played a critical role in the international community and was a champion for small states.

Her following statement aptly sums up her opinion of Fiji: “Fiji provides a unique entry point for the World Bank’s work and will continue to grow our presence in the country and indeed ramp up our support across the Pacific.”

Obviously, this assessment is based on the progress we have made in building our economy and the impressive way we have bounced back after Cyclone Winston.

Currently, two senior advisors from the United States Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour are in the country to meet with relevant stakeholders and assess our progress in their areas of expertise.

Fiji has made significant progress in all these areas and there is no doubt the two American officials will note this in their report back to Washington.

Mr Bainimarama’s visit to New Zealand this week will cap off an eventful week. His meeting with investors and business entrepreneurs in Sydney is understood to have impressed many who attended.

His NZ visit will strengthen the growing relationship between the two countries.

All these events show that we are moving steadily forward as a nation.

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