Fiji's Foreign Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola yesterday briefed the Pacific Islands Forum (PIFs) Ministerial Contact Group (MCG) in Port Villa, Vanuatu at the official invitation of the MCG Chairman and Vanuatu Prime Minister Honorable Meltek Sato Kilamn on the implementation of the Roadmap for Sustainable Democracy and Socio-Economic Development in 2010 and the socio-economic sectors targeted for 2011. He further reaffirmed to the MCG, Fiji's genuine desire to engage with PIFs for the common good of the region.
Other members of the PIFs MCG on Fiji that attended the meeting included the Hon Richard Marles, Parliament Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs of Australia; Hon Murray McCully, Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand; the Hon Don Polye, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade & Immigration of Papua New Guinea; the Hon Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveau, Minister of Work, Transport and Infrastructure of Samoa; the Hon Apisai Ieiemia, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment of Tuvalu and the officials of the Forum Secretariat.
In his presentation, Minister Kubuabola highlighted the political landscape in existence in Fiji under the new Legal Order adopted on 10 April 2009, particularly the accompanying framework and timeframe for economic and infrastructure reforms and development from 2009 to 2012; political dialogue and the formulation of a new Constitution from 2012; and the convening of a General Election for Parliament Democracy by September 2014.
Minister Kubuabola also highlighted that in 2009 and 2010 the Fijian Government has and continues to take enormous strides towards the creation of a better Fiji for all, by reforming the judiciary, creation of a safe law and order environment, rebuilding lost trust between the people and the Government systems and implementing much improved rural-urban connectivity through new and enhanced transport and communications network, disciplined public sector services and a much improved health and education facilities.
Minister Kubuabola further highlighted that foreign development partners and the international community including PIFs need to understand Fiji's political history in particularly the root causes of Fiji's political instability since 1987. In this regard, Fiji needs the timeframe envisaged in the Strategic Framework for Change to implement its Roadmap for Democracy and Sustainable Social Economic Development.
Minister Kubuabola stated that Fiji welcomes any assistance from well meaning development partners to assist in its effort to achieve parliamentary democracy by September 2014 but this needs to be targeted at the development agenda identified in the Roadmap.
The MCG has agreed to the invitation from the Fiji Government to visit Fiji later this year to meet relevant stakeholders in order to "appreciate the political, social and economic challenges currently facing Fiji and support its efforts to return to parliamentary democracy".
Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji