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Embassy of Fiji to Brussels, Belgium

Fiji Reiterates Commitment to Support Global Attempts to Eliminate Chemical Weapons

Brussels OPCW 01

PS Defence Mr Cawaru delivers Fiji's national statement

23 November 2018, The Hague, NETHERLANDS: As a small island developing state and the first nation to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention, Fiji will continue to support the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in its global efforts to permanently and verifiably eliminate chemical weapons.
 
This was highlighted today by the Ministry of Defence and National Security Permanent Secretary, Mr Osea Cawaru when he delivered Fiji’s statement to the Review Conference for the OPCW. The Review Conference occurs once every five years and is an opportunity for all States Parties to review the operations of the Chemical Weapons Convention and set a strategic direction for the OPCW for the next five years and beyond.
 
Speaking in his capacity as Fiji’s head of delegation to the meeting, Mr Cawaru said that Fiji’s commitment is aligned closely to her foreign policies as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and in particular, SDG 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
 
“Fiji is working towards signing the Privileges and Immunities Agreement with the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW in the coming year. Fiji has also benefited from the Technical Secretariat in facilitating the sub regional workshop for the implementation of the Convention a few years back and stands ready to assist our Pacific Island States in this regard”, Mr Cawaru said.
 
“Like other developing countries, Fiji fully recognizes and understands the importance of establishing partnership with regional and sub- regional States Parties to ensure effective implementation of the Convention. Fiji believes that close engagement with other States Parties in areas of information sharing and common interests could assist States Parties in the full enactment of the Convention.”
 
In conveying Fiji’s commitment to both the Convention and the OPCW, Mr Cawaru briefly spoke on the challenges it faced when it comes to the different implementation process of the chemical convention.
 
“While Fiji is regarded as a hub in our region, we remain susceptible to the illicit trade of chemicals, other than its peaceful means, given the porous nature of our borders and limited resources. Fiji, like many other small developing island States is further limited in its ability to specifically address the challenges of effective implementation of the Convention”, Mr Cawaru said.
 
“Though we are faced with limited resources and competing legislative demands, Fiji will continue to strive for effective implementation of the Convention within these challenges, as it fully subscribes to the aspirations of the Convention.”
 
Mr Cawaru used this opportunity to also call on the OPCW to support smaller states in their attempts to implement the various processes required in the Convention.
 
“We would call on enhancement of implementation support for small island States to ensure that we effectively carry out our role, both nationally and as a group at the sub regional level, without placing unnecessary burdens on ourselves and restricting growth and development in our small vulnerable economies.”
 
“Fiji reiterates its full support to the Secretariat for the OPCW for its commitment towards fulfilling the ambitions and obligations of the Convention let alone its prime objective to eradicate stockpiles of chemical weapons and ensuring a world free of chemical weapons in the future”.
 
The Review Conference is preceded by the Conference of the Twenty Third Session of the Conference of States Parties which consists of all 193 members of the OPCW. As the ‘principal organ of the Organisation’, it has the general power to oversee the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and to act to promote the object and purpose of the Convention. The Conference oversees the implementation of the CWC, promotes the treaty’s objectives and reviews compliance with the treaty. The Conference is composed of representatives of all Member States of the OPCW, each of which has one vote.
 
Mr Cawaru is supported at both meetings by Ms Silina Navoka from the Ministry of Defence in Fiji and Mr Taniela Gavidi from the Fiji Embassy in Brussels.

 

Brussels OPCW 02

(From Left to Right) The Fijian delegation to the OPCW meeting - Taniela Gavidi, Silina Navoka and PS Osea Cawaru

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Several members of Public Accounts Committee of the Fijian Parliament visiting Wellington this week took advantage of a visit to the Wellington City Council’s Southern Landfill yesterday to glean a few ideas for waste management in Fiji. This included the Hon. Alexander O’Connor, Assistant Minister for Health, Ratu Suliano Matanitobua, Opposition parliamentarian and Ms. Priya Chand, Parliamentary Secretary who were accompanied by the Fiji High Commission New Zealand staff.

The Southern landfill is an impressive setup particularly as it focuses on recycling and minimising the damage to the environment at the landfill.

 

Other remarkable features of the landfill were its gas collection, electricity regeneration, green waste mulching and water table management. The Hon. O’Connor, an engineer by profession, was particularly impressed and intends to develop a few ideas for the Fijian Government to consider.

 

The PAC members were invited to attend the Pacific PAC training seminar in Wellington facilitated by UNDP from the 12th to the 13th December.

The PAC members, including Deputy Chair, Hon. Mohammed Dean, MP, were hosted to afternoon tea at the Fiji Chancery.  It was an opportunity for the Parliamentarians to meet the Locally Engaged Staff at the Mission and also update the staff on the work and concerns of the Public Accounts Committee.

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Embassy of Fiji to Brussels, Belgium

Fiji calls for Climate Solidarity amongst States at Global Virtual Summit

Ambassador Saran speaking at the panel event in Brussels

Ambassador Saran speaking at the panel event

Brussels, BELGIUM: Fiji’s envoy to the European Union and COP23 Envoy to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) co-hosted a global virtual platform to raise awareness amongst States to raise climate target ambitions for the direct benefit of countries who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
 
Speaking at a virtual climate summit organised by the Climate Action Network (CAN) and the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) at the European Parliament, Ambassador Saran highlighted the importance of all parties standing together in solidarity. The Summit, held in response to the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the climate envoy echoed the stance by the COP23 Presidency on the need for parties to take action.
 
“We need to use this global platform for national leaders to raise climate ambition and step up their NDCs, stand in solidarity with those vulnerable to the growing impacts of climate change, and reinforce efforts under the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 ºC. The goals of the Paris Agreement are not yet out of reach, but to achieve them will require a realignment of our priorities and an unprecedented global mobilization to deliver much stronger NDCs that are in line with this target and a universal commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest”, Ambassador Saran said.
 
“Excellencies, 1.5 degrees limit has a special resonance for the Climate Vulnerable Forum countries, we are made up of 48 of the world’s countries most vulnerable to climate change. Our survival depends on the willingness of all countries to make the transition needed to get us on 1.5°C compatible net zero emissions pathways as soon as possible”.
 
The first of its kind, the Virtual Climate Summit provides a platform for the leaders of all nations to take into account the landmark IPCC report on warming of 1.5°C and commit to bold action to limit temperature increase to 1.5°C. In the face of the climate crisis, the participating leaders will publish a joint declaration.
 
Heads of States and government representatives from several European countries, including Estonia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands, are participating in the Virtual Forum. They acknowledge the ever more severe impacts of climate change, and the need for urgent action to keep temperature rise to 1.5°C to protect the vulnerable communities all over the world.
 
At this event, Ambassador Saran also proposed on how the European Union can play a crucial role in raising ambition targets amongst EU member states.
 
“The EU can play a crucial role at COP24 by significantly increasing its nationally determined contribution to show leadership; supporting a robust rulebook for the Paris Agreement and financial support to enable developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts. Through this Summit, we encourage the EU to stand together with the Vulnerable Countries and commit to better climate policies.”

The official outcome of the Summit will feed into the “Talanoa Dialogue,” the agreed mechanism of the Paris Agreement to promote enhanced action by all nations, and sends a powerful call to arms to all leaders and non-state actors to enhance ambition.

 

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Several members of Public Accounts Committee of the Fijian Parliament visiting Wellington this week took advantage of a visit to the Wellington City Council’s Southern Landfill yesterday to glean a few ideas for waste management in Fiji. This included the Hon. Alexander O’Connor, Assistant Minister for Health, Ratu Suliano Matanitobua, Opposition parliamentarian and Ms. Priya Chand, Parliamentary Secretary who were accompanied by the Fiji High Commission New Zealand staff.

The Southern landfill is an impressive setup particularly as it focuses on recycling and minimising the damage to the environment at the landfill.

 

Other remarkable features of the landfill were its gas collection, electricity regeneration, green waste mulching and water table management. The Hon. O’Connor, an engineer by profession, was particularly impressed and intends to develop a few ideas for the Fijian Government to consider.

 

The PAC members were invited to attend the Pacific PAC training seminar in Wellington facilitated by UNDP from the 12th to the 13th December.

The PAC members, including Deputy Chair, Hon. Mohammed Dean, MP, were hosted to afternoon tea at the Fiji Chancery.  It was an opportunity for the Parliamentarians to meet the Locally Engaged Staff at the Mission and also update the staff on the work and concerns of the Public Accounts Committee.

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Fijian Peacekeeping honoured at the United Nations

PRUN UNPK 003

New York, 1 June: Fiji's Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr Satyendra Prasad, was humbled and honoured to receive the Dag Hammarskjold medal on behalf of the family of the late Warrant Officer Class One Niko Komaiasa Ralagi, a Fijian UN Peacekeeper who died whilst serving at the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria last year.

The medal was presented by the UN Secretary-General, H.E. Antonio Gueterres, to recognise the sacrifice of the late Niko Ralagi, who had a very distinguished career with the RFMF and had served in various UN Peacekeeping Missions. Before his untimely death in UNDOF, Mr Ralagi was a Senior Operation Warrant Officer at the RFMF Operation Cell at the Land Force Command Headquarters. A decorated Fijian soldier who had served in several UN Peacekeeping Missions, he was also recipient of the General Service Medal, MFO Peacekeeping Medal, UNIFIL Peacekeeping Medal, UNAMI Peacekeeping Medal, UNMISET Peacekeeping Medal, UNDOF Peacekeeping Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.  The late Ralagi is survived by his wife, Mrs Salanieta Lesumaimaumi Ralagi and five children.

In a global environment where peace becomes a highly valuable goal due to the multilayered and complex security challenges, the medal ceremony carries great significance and symbolism for the United Nations in paying tribute to UN Peacekeepers who make the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of international peace and security. Over the years, UN Peacekeeping operations has seen more than 3000 deaths in the various Peacekeeping Missions globally. The medal ceremony is part of the UN International Peacekeeping Day celebrated in New York each year.

This year, the United Nations is also celebrating its 70th year of Peacekeeping. It coincides with Fiji's celebration of its 40-years of contribution to UN Peacekeeping globally.

Today's event in New York began with a wreath laying ceremony followed by UN Secretary-General's presentation of the Dag Hammarskjöld Medals to Troop and Police Contributing Countries to recognize and honor UN peacekeepers who lost their lives in the service of peace over the past 12 months. It remains an important annual event in the UN calendar that provides an opportunity to remember the families of all Peacekeepers who have not returned home.

During his remarks, the UN Secretary-General thanked all Troop and Police Contributing Countries for their sacrifice and dedication to international peace, security and prosperity. It was moving ceremony that was attended by over 50 countries who provide the United Nations with Peacekeepers. Ambassador Prasad was accompanied to the medal ceremony by Col. Manoa Gadai, Military and Police Advisor at the Fiji Mission in New York.

 




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Several members of Public Accounts Committee of the Fijian Parliament visiting Wellington this week took advantage of a visit to the Wellington City Council’s Southern Landfill yesterday to glean a few ideas for waste management in Fiji. This included the Hon. Alexander O’Connor, Assistant Minister for Health, Ratu Suliano Matanitobua, Opposition parliamentarian and Ms. Priya Chand, Parliamentary Secretary who were accompanied by the Fiji High Commission New Zealand staff.

The Southern landfill is an impressive setup particularly as it focuses on recycling and minimising the damage to the environment at the landfill.

 

Other remarkable features of the landfill were its gas collection, electricity regeneration, green waste mulching and water table management. The Hon. O’Connor, an engineer by profession, was particularly impressed and intends to develop a few ideas for the Fijian Government to consider.

 

The PAC members were invited to attend the Pacific PAC training seminar in Wellington facilitated by UNDP from the 12th to the 13th December.

The PAC members, including Deputy Chair, Hon. Mohammed Dean, MP, were hosted to afternoon tea at the Fiji Chancery.  It was an opportunity for the Parliamentarians to meet the Locally Engaged Staff at the Mission and also update the staff on the work and concerns of the Public Accounts Committee.

END

Fijian Envoy calls on President of UN General Assembly

PRUN and PGA72
PRUN H.E Dr Satyendra Prasad & President of the UNGA H.E Miroslav Lacjak

New York, 31 May – Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Dr Satyendra Prasad, today paid a courtesy call on the President of the UN General Assembly, H.E. Miroslav Lacjak.

In commending President Lacjak for his steady leadership of the UN General Assembly at its current session, Ambassador Prasad also congratulated the PGA on convening the Youth Dialogue held in the UN Headquarters on Wednesday 30 May. In this age of modernisation and intergenerational complexities, it is important that the youths are engaged in decision-making processes on matters that affect them directly. In that context, Ambassador Prasad noted that the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals require the involvement and direct participation of young people everywhere. He also highlighted Fiji’s close attention to the issues of climate change, ocean advocacy, and ensuring that tangible financing assistance flows to countries like Fiji that enable our people to connect the dots between their personal and local community needs and global ideals.

During their discussion on a range of global topical issues, Mr Lacjak underscored that the core theme of his Presidency of the UN General Assembly is to ensure that the United Nations is not in a bubble of its own but is relevant to the people of the world. The UN’s role and its significance is in the fact that it is the single multilateral body where the voice of all member States are heard and all countries, no matter how big or small, can make a difference. He further emphasised the importance of protecting the UN’s place in global society where it is a force of law rather than allow a situation where there is no inclusive multilateral body and force is the law.

Ambassador Prasad assured President Lacjak of his readiness to work in support of the UN General Assembly’s mandates of reform and other issues of importance to Fiji. Ambassador Prasad welcomed the President’s efforts to reform the UN development system. The UNGA approved the most comprehensive reform of the UN development system in decades later in the day. These reforms will help to reposition the UN country offices to support Government to implement its development priorities more coherently and effectively.  


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Several members of Public Accounts Committee of the Fijian Parliament visiting Wellington this week took advantage of a visit to the Wellington City Council’s Southern Landfill yesterday to glean a few ideas for waste management in Fiji. This included the Hon. Alexander O’Connor, Assistant Minister for Health, Ratu Suliano Matanitobua, Opposition parliamentarian and Ms. Priya Chand, Parliamentary Secretary who were accompanied by the Fiji High Commission New Zealand staff.

The Southern landfill is an impressive setup particularly as it focuses on recycling and minimising the damage to the environment at the landfill.

 

Other remarkable features of the landfill were its gas collection, electricity regeneration, green waste mulching and water table management. The Hon. O’Connor, an engineer by profession, was particularly impressed and intends to develop a few ideas for the Fijian Government to consider.

 

The PAC members were invited to attend the Pacific PAC training seminar in Wellington facilitated by UNDP from the 12th to the 13th December.

The PAC members, including Deputy Chair, Hon. Mohammed Dean, MP, were hosted to afternoon tea at the Fiji Chancery.  It was an opportunity for the Parliamentarians to meet the Locally Engaged Staff at the Mission and also update the staff on the work and concerns of the Public Accounts Committee.

END

High Level Political Dialogue between Fiji and the European Union

This is a joint press statement issued by the Government of the Republic of Fiji and the European Union following the third high level political dialogue between Fiji and the European Union held in Suva on 23 and 24 May, 2018.

Suva, Fiji - The third High Level Political Dialogue between Fiji and the European Union (EU) under article 8 of the ACP-EU Partnership (Cotonou) Agreement was held in Suva, Fiji on 23 and 24 May, 2018.

The meeting was opened by the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama and the European Union Ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific, H.E. Julian Wilson.

Discussions were co-chaired by the Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ioane Naivalurua and Ambassador Wilson.
In his opening remarks, the Prime Minister acknowledged the importance of the high level Political Dialogue as a powerful tool to strengthen the relationship between Fiji and the EU and its Member States.

The Prime Minister recognised the importance of Fiji and EU relations both bilaterally and in the work we are doing together internationally. The Prime Minister also highlighted Fiji’s recent international achievements, with specific reference to hosting the first-ever UN Conference on Oceans and its presidency of COP23 last year and recognised Germany’s support in hosting the COP23 negotiations.

The Prime Minister strongly emphasised the need to address visa issues to facilitate travel for Fijians to the EU.

In his opening address, Ambassador Wilson appreciated the comments of the Prime Minister. He highlighted the key role of Fiji, EU and its Member States in advancing the fight against climate change internationally. He reiterated EU's strong commitment to continue this engagement far beyond COP 23.

The second major opportunity for EU-Fiji relations is reaping full benefits of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). He recognised the need to ease travel between Fiji and the EU, especially as Fijians cannot apply for Schengen visas in Fiji. Another area of future engagement is international taxation matters.

Building on the Prime Minister’s statement, Ambassador Wilson reaffirmed the EU’s interest to work closely with Fiji on strengthening EU-Pacific relations in the context of the upcoming negotiations on ACP-EU partnership after 2020. France, Spain and the United Kingdom also attended the dialogue as part of the European Union delegation.

The High level discussions focused on the political and economic developments in Fiji and the European Union as well as topics of mutual interest for both parties such as the short stay visa free travel to Europe, consolidation of democracy and human rights, Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the 2018 General Elections, strategic alliance on climate change and development cooperation.

The parties recognised the potential for expanding Fiji-EU trade and investment opportunities. The official dialogue will be complemented by business to business discussions including a seminar with Fijian industry on the potential offered from Fiji-EU trade. Both parties agreed on a number of concrete steps for the effective implementation of the EPA and its ratification. They also emphasised the potential use of global sourcing for boosting investment in the fisheries sector.

The Parties exchanged views on future cooperation after 2020, recognising the need to replace the Cotonou Agreement with an ambitious successor that would build on the success of the current Agreement and reflect the specificities and needs of the Pacific region.

The EU recognised and commended Fiji on the progress of its implementation of recommendations from the 2014 Universal Periodic Review. Fiji called on the support of the EU for its bid for the Human Rights Council candidacy. Both Parties recognised the value of continuous discussions with a view to enhance strategic cooperation in the multilateral fora.

Parties recognise the value of the development cooperation activities of the European Union bilaterally with Fiji and at the regional Pacific level. Both sides agreed schedules and actions to ensure fast implementation and impact including the move into budget support to improve rural livelihoods, notably in the sugar sector.

It is envisaged that the next Political Dialogue between the parties will be held in Brussels, Belgium 2019.

 



Background

 


The Cotonou Agreement offers a framework for the European Union’s cooperation relations for the economic, social and cultural development of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP). Centred on the target of reducing, and in the longer-term, eradicating poverty, the cooperation must also contribute to the peace and security and the democratic and political stability of the ACP states.

Article 8 of Cotonou Agreement provides for a regular, comprehensive, balanced and deep political dialogue leading to commitments on both sides.

The objective of the political dialogue is to exchange information, to foster mutual understanding and to facilitate the establishment of agreed priorities and shared agendas, in particular by recognising links in the various areas of cooperation between the Parties as laid down in the Cotonou Agreement.

 

 


 


Contact: Mohammed Nazeem Kasim, EU & Information Press Officer.

Tel: +679 3313633.  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 



Contact: Izek Lal, Director for Information.

 Tel: +679 990 6034 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


 


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Several members of Public Accounts Committee of the Fijian Parliament visiting Wellington this week took advantage of a visit to the Wellington City Council’s Southern Landfill yesterday to glean a few ideas for waste management in Fiji. This included the Hon. Alexander O’Connor, Assistant Minister for Health, Ratu Suliano Matanitobua, Opposition parliamentarian and Ms. Priya Chand, Parliamentary Secretary who were accompanied by the Fiji High Commission New Zealand staff.

The Southern landfill is an impressive setup particularly as it focuses on recycling and minimising the damage to the environment at the landfill.

 

Other remarkable features of the landfill were its gas collection, electricity regeneration, green waste mulching and water table management. The Hon. O’Connor, an engineer by profession, was particularly impressed and intends to develop a few ideas for the Fijian Government to consider.

 

The PAC members were invited to attend the Pacific PAC training seminar in Wellington facilitated by UNDP from the 12th to the 13th December.

The PAC members, including Deputy Chair, Hon. Mohammed Dean, MP, were hosted to afternoon tea at the Fiji Chancery.  It was an opportunity for the Parliamentarians to meet the Locally Engaged Staff at the Mission and also update the staff on the work and concerns of the Public Accounts Committee.

END

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    Ministry of Foreign Affairs
   
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Tel: (679) 330 9645
Levels 1&2, South Wing, iTaukei Trust Fund Complex, 87 Queen Elizabeth Drive, Nasese

 

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