Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Forum MCG concludes visit to Fiji

Hon Murray McCully
Minister of Foreign Affairs

Forum MCG concludes visit to Fiji

The Pacific Islands Forum Ministerial Contact Group (MCG) visited Fiji today. The MCG met with Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Interim Minister of Foreign Affairs of Fiji, Mr. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Interim Attorney General of Fiji, political leaders, representatives of civil society organisations and trade unions.

The MCG thanked the Fiji Interim Government for hosting the Group and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat for making the programme arrangements. The MCG also thanked the political leaders, representatives of civil society groups and trade unions for meeting with them.

Ministers noted the progress that Fiji had made in 2012 towards elections, including the extensive consultation and work of the independent Constitution Commission, which had generated a level of popular engagement and interest which was unprecedented since 2006. In that context, Ministers expressed concerns about departures from Fiji’s previously announced Roadmap process and emphasised the need for a constitution building process that enjoyed the support of the people of Fiji and the respect of the international community.

Ministers recalled assurances from the Fiji Interim Government at the time of the last MCG visit to Fiji in May 2012, including that elections would be held no later than September 2014, that there would be no media restrictions in relation to the constitutional consultation process and that elections would be free and fair. Ministers were pleased to have the commitment reiterated in today’s meeting.

Ministers noted the expectations of the people of Fiji and the international community for free and fair elections should be achieved through:

· A final version of the new constitution that credibly takes public views into account;

· An independent elections oversight mechanism (Supervisor/Commission) established without further delay;

· Free and fair participation by political parties in the electoral process commencing with fair and timely registration;

· Independent election monitoring;

· Freedom of expression, media and assembly in the lead up to the election and beyond; and

· A general acceptance of the election outcome by the people of Fiji.

Ministers emphasised the need for citizens and political parties to be able to nominate for elections, meet freely, campaign openly and to participate without hindrance in the political process and public debate.

Ministers noted that the decision to extend the consultation period for the draft constitution and the announcement that permits were not required for political meetings to discuss the draft constitution were welcome recent steps, and indicative of the sorts of actions which would be watched closely by the Forum and the international community when measuring progress towards a restoration of democracy in Fiji.

Ministers reaffirmed Forum Leaders’ willingness to support Fiji’s return to democracy, including through assistance with elections, provided that the Forum could be satisfied that genuine progress was being made.

As requested by Forum Leaders, the MCG will provide a report to Forum Leaders in advance of the Forum Leaders Meeting in Majuro in September on the situation in Fiji, noting the Fiji Interim Government’s commitment to elections in 2014 and the positive steps taken, and the further steps required to ensure a credible democratic outcome in September 2014, if not earlier.

Ministers reaffirmed the Forum’s intention to remain engaged with Fiji and their desire to continue a constructive dialogue with Fiji in the lead-up to elections.

Participants in the MCG visit were Hon. Murray McCully, Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand and Chair of the MCG; Senator the Hon. Matt Thistlethwaite, Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs and Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs of Australia; Hon. Rimbink Pato, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration of Papua New Guinea; Hon. Tuisugaletaua Ali’imalemanu Sofara Aveau, Minister of Communication and Information Technology of Samoa; Hon. Apisai Ielemia, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour of Tuvalu; and Hon. Edward Natapei, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Vanuatu.

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Parliament
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news