The excellent bilateral relations between Fiji and Singapore have enabled timely coordination of Diplomatic Protocol Training, under the auspices of the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP). The first of two customised training programs, targeted at middle managers, began on Monday 25th and ends on Friday 29th July 2022.

The program was officially opened on Monday with 43 participants from 20 ministries and agencies. The second training workshop targeting senior officials will convene next week from Monday 1st to Tuesday 2nd August 2022. Both programs by the SCP are the result of efforts by Fiji’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In a welcome message given by Singapore Training facilitator, Belinda Liok, on behalf of the Singapore Government and Singapore High Commissioner to Fiji, Mary Seet-Cheng, Ms Liok noted that 2022 marks the SCP’s 30th anniversary, and this is the first in-country course since the pandemic began.

As highlighted by Ms Liok, this training reaffirms Singapore’s long-established links with Fiji and the Pacific. She said Singapore works closely with Pacific Island countries on a wide range of issues of mutual interest, such as climate change and sustainable development.

“We are committed to supporting Pacific Island Countries, including Fiji in your capacity-building efforts and sharing our development experience through the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP).

“We look forward to continuing putting together useful programmes for our Pacific friends. We are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Singapore Cooperation Programme this year. The SCP had pivoted online amidst COVID-19. This is our first in-country course since the outbreak of the pandemic,” Ms Liok said.

“Human resource development is key to a country’s sustainable development and progress. After the training, participants will join the SCP Alumni community with over 137,000 people from all over the world and we are celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the SCP this year. We are honoured to be able to conduct the in-person training workshops for the ministries and agencies in Fiji.”

Ms Liok also congratulated the Fijian Government for successfully chairing and organising the 51st Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting (PIF).

The Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, His Excellency, John Feakes officiated as guest speaker at the official opening program.

In his remarks, High Commissioner Feakes said Fiji and Singapore are great friends of Australia and both nations continue to punch well above their weight on the international stage.

He congratulated the Fijian Government and the Government of Singapore for organising this important training to further enhance Fiji’s diplomatic relations.

“Protocol creates a roadmap for us to follow within all our engagements; protocol is the foundation that creates the framework for diplomacy.

“In an increasingly challenging world, protocol has never been more important. It puts into place certain standards and guidelines which both sides in the bilateral relationship will abide by and follow. Protocol puts in balance and quality in each and every diplomatic interaction,” High Commissioner Feakes said. He also shared his experiences as a career diplomat, emphasising the importance of protocol in advancing Fiji’s foreign relations and partnerships at the global and regional level.

Mr Feakes encouraged the participants to make the most of the training opportunity which, will help them enhance their knowledge and understanding of the Diplomatic Protocols and its importance to Fiji’s foreign services. Chief of Protocol, Mr Jiko Rasoqosoqo said the program reflects the excellent bilateral relationships between Singapore and Fiji.

Mr Rasoqosoqo congratulated the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the 30th Anniversary of the Singapore Cooperation Programme.

He also thanked the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the support in coordinating the Diplomatic Protocol Training.

Singapore and Fiji established diplomatic relations in 1971 and since then, the collaboration between the two nations has continued to strengthen in shared priorities, which include socio-economic and sustainable development.