September 29, 2012

Report stresses civic role

Friday, September 28, 2012

THE report emanating from a joint African Caribbean and Pacific Joint states & European Union fact finding mission to Fiji has acknowledged the people of Fiji have an important role to play in restoring the country to democracy.

The report released earlier this week has been well received by the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the Fijian government.

Responding to the report, the Bureau of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary expressed satisfaction with the mission's observations and recommendations. The report acknowledged that the process for the restoration of democracy depends on the people of Fiji themselves, according to their own social, economic and political priorities.

Commenting on the report, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ratu Inoke Kubuabola said there were hopes the report would change perceptions of Fiji. Our ambassador to the EU will be forwarding this report to the European Commission for its consideration and hope that its positivity will fast-track a complete change of perception that has been so far coloured by Australia and New Zealand and the Pacific Islands Forum, Ratu Inoke said.

He said the report acknowledged the work undertaken by government to move the country towards elections in 2014.

Overall, the report is positive, satisfactory and recognises the commitment that government has demonstrated to continue along with the processes outlined in the Roadmap, Ratu Inoke said.

The sentiments expressed by those opposing individuals alluded to in the report were expected and the language in the report suggests to me that even these individuals recognise the practicality of the situation and the importance of proceeding towards elections in 2014, he said.

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