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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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Mission Stations

Statement by Fiji Minister for Foreign Affairs at the XVII Nam Ministerial Conference

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28 – 29 MAY, 2014
Mr. Chairman,
Honourable Ministers;
Excellencies;
Distinguished Delegates;
I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate you Mr. Chairman on the assumption of your role and express my sincere appreciation to the Government and the people of Algeria being a gracious host.
 
Mr. Chairman,
I wish to state at the outset that the timing and decision to hold the 17th Ministerial Conference in Algiers under the theme: “Enhancing Solidarity for Peace and Prosperity’ is impeccable.
 
Today, some of our fellow members are grappling with instability that engulfs their regions, challenging their nationhood and ultimately threatening international order.
 
The headlines are filled with reports of imminent threats to global security; grinding poverty and malnutrition; environmental disasters; dangers of climate change and loss of biodiversity, to name a few.
 
We believe that this meeting provides us a great opportunity to look at ways to address some of these challenges. It reminds us of the common purpose and founding principles of NAM, and reaffirms our
commitment towards the solidarity of the group.
 
Mr. Chairman,
We need to collectively pursue a new international order based on inclusiveness, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, equality and justice. To do otherwise clearly undermines the founding principles
of the NAM and of the UN Charter.
We must find common ground and take advantage of our numbers to advance our interests as a group. We should take comfort in our strengths and be more aggressive in our common endeavor to ensure that we have in place a system of global governance that is reflective of our interests.
 
We must also not lose sight of the imperative need for improved socio-economic development for our people.
These dynamics reaffirm that we could be more proactive in addressing global issues by understanding our differences and confronting challenges in a more comprehensive and pragmatic manner with a view to assist member countries that need our support.
Our unity in diversity has been the unique strength and stronghold of NAM.
 
Undoubtedly, there is a lot that we could learn from our own individual experiences that should enhance our well-being as sovereign states and help fulfill our obligations as a member of the international community.
It is this spirit of collaboration that inspires us to go beyond selfish interests.
 
Mr. Chairman,
As we all know, peace and security continues to elude us. Today, we increasingly experience the tendency by States that take unilateral action, which threatens the very fabric of our community of nations.
For this reason, we must continue to demonstrate our unwavering commitment towards international peace and security by strengthening our peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts, for which NAM members are the major contributors.
 
Mr. Chairman,
Fiji too is making its share of contribution to these global efforts. Our pledge to global peace is manifested through our steadfast commitment to UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts.
It is a source of great pride that for a nation of our size, we are able to make a meaningful contribution to the international community. We continue to play our part and advocate for peace in the troubled regions
of the world.
Having said this, it is equally important to say that we too have our share of challenges.
 
Many modern democracies have gone through turbulent periods toovercome their unique challenges. Some have gone through decades of instability and bloodshed, while others have had defining moments that
changes the course of their history.
Fiji too has had its period of turbulence and we are now experiencing our defining moment that will surely change the course of our history.
 
Mr. Chairman,
Staying true to our course as promised in 2009, Fiji reached a pivotal moment in its history in September of 2013 when the President of the Republic of Fiji promulgated the nation’s Constitution that is worthy of the Fijian people. Based on this Constitution, we are heading towards Fiji’s first truly democratic elections on 17 September 2014.
 
Mr. Chairman,
I wish to take this time to thank all the members of the Movement for their support towards Fiji over the years. Your understanding towards our cause has lifted our spirit and helped us become a more confident global citizen.
 
I thank you all for your attention.

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