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     Government of the Republic of Fiji

  Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service

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Pacific Small Island Developing States

In spite of Fiji’s suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum, Fiji, through its New York Mission works in close coordination with the other Pacific Island Missions to the United Nations, who as a group make up the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS). All members of the PSIDS are members of the Asian Group, and are represented in the UN and also the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). Within PSIDS, Fiji is playing a leading role, in consultation with the Asian Group and the relevant bodies of the UN to achieve greater representation of PSIDS in the UN system. In line with this goal, we have proposed through the PSIDS to change the Asian Group nomenclature to effectively reflect the PSIDS representation within the region.

In the UN, PSIDS plays a fundamental role in advocating and voicing the concerns and challenges of the Pacific island countries, particularly on issues such as climate change and sustainable development. In return, we rely on the developed countries, financial institutions and philanthropists to provide technical and financial assistance to mitigate some of these challenges. As a group, PSIDS have over the years managed to secure close cooperations with and development assistance from countries including Austria/Italy and United Arab Emirates (renewable energy projects) and Cuba (medical scholarships) and the UN for climate change mitigation and adaptation projects and funding.

Peacekeeping

On 13th October 1970, Fiji was admitted to the United Nations General Assembly as the first Pacific Island State to join the United Nations. Since that time, Fiji has had at the heart of its foreign policy a strong commitment to the United Nations and its peacekeeping operations.

Since the 1970s, Fijian peacekeepers have served in Angola, Bosnia & Herzegovinia, Cambodia, Croatia, Dafur, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Sinai, Namibia, Solomon Islands, Kosovo, Rwanda, Somalia, Southern Sudan and Timor-Leste.

The high standards achieved by Fijian personnel in UN peacekeeping has been a focus of national pride and has earned Fiji considerable distinction in the international community. Fiji honours the memory of the 46 Fijian peacekeepers who have fallen in the course of peacekeeping duties.

Today the largest contingent of overseas Fijian peacekeepers serves with the Multinational Force & Observers (MFO) in the Sinai. The MFO is an independent international organization, headquartered in Rome, with peacekeeping responsibilities relating to the Egyptian-Israeli border. From the first days of the mission in 1982, the Republic of Fiji Military Forces has provided an infantry battalion to the MFO, currently consisting of 338 personnel.

The second largest contingent of Fijian peacekeepers today is in Iraq, supporting the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), as established by Security Council in 2003. After the UN’s brief pullout from Iraq following the tragic 2003 bombings that killed 22 UN staff, Fiji played an integral part in the re-establishment of the UN presence in Iraq by becoming the first nation to volunteer peacekeepers specifically to protect UN officials. Today 223 troops serve in Baghdad securing UN operations in Baghdad and Erbil.

The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) was established in 2003 to monitor the ceasefire agreement in Liberia. UNMIL is currently is supported by 30 police officers from Fiji. In the Darfur region of Sudan, the first joint-force of African Union and United Nations Peacekeepers (UNAMID) is tasked with bringing stability to this war-torn region. Established by the Security Council in 2007, UNAMID is currently supported by 13 police officers from Fiji.

In Southern Sudan, the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) was established in 2005. Its goal is to support the implementation of the peace agreement between Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement. Fiji is currently participating in UNMIS with 11 military and police personnel. In 2006, the Security Council established the United Nations Integrated Mission in East Timor (UNMIT). Fiji has dispatched a military observer to Timor-Leste in support of UNMIT.

Fiji’s main motivation in its contribution of peacekeeping personnel to the United Nations is its determination to play its full part as a responsible signatory of the United Nations Charter. For small countries like Fiji, the international rule of law and peace is a guarantee for independence and survival for the smaller Member States of the UN. Fiji’s involvement in peacekeeping and peace-building worldwide is thus a prime manifestation of Fiji’s commitment to good global citizenship through the multilateralism of the United Nations.

Fiji and the United Nations

“… though we have clearly far more to gain than to give in this Assembly, we nevertheless believe that our country of Fiji has a contribution to make at the United Nations and we look forward to playing our part in forwarding its high purposes.”

[Excerpt from the first address to the United Natons General Assembly of Fiji’s first Prime Minister, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara on 13 October 1970 to mark Fiji’s acceptance as a full member of the UN]

Fiji joined the United Nations as its 127th member on 13 October 1970 based on its trust in the central role of the organization in the maintenance of international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress. To this end, Fiji has always been committed to playing its part as a good global citizen in upholding the purpose and principles of the UN Charter.

Fiji’s commitment has been exemplified in its contribution to many UN peacekeeping missions since 1978 including Lebanon, Darfur, Sudan, Iraq, Liberia, Kosova, Cambodia, Somalia, Namibia, Angola, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rawanda and Timor Leste. On the issue of oceans and the law of the sea, Fiji played a leading role in drafting the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and its implementing agreements. Fiji is an active member of the UN Special Committee on Decolonisation with the zeal of upholding fundamental human rights, including the right to self-determinaton for those who are affected by the shackles of colonialism in all its manifestations.

As a small island developing State, Fiji continues to provide a voice in the United Nations on the issues of climate change, sustainable development, Millenium Development Goals, oceans and fisheries, international crime and anti-terrorism and disarmament issues.
Fiji maintains good relations with other members of the UN on the basis of equality, non-interference in the internal affairs of all States and respect for sovereign rights of all peoples and their territorial integrity.

Fiji maintains good relations with other members of the UN on the basis of equality, non-interference in the internal affairs of all States and respect for sovereign rights of all peoples and their territorial integrity.
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