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6 - 17 November 2017  
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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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Media Release

Roving Ambassador Mawi presents credentials to Sir Goodwin, Queen's representative of Cook Islands

STATEMENT  DELIVERED TO HIS EXCELLENCY SIR FREDERICK GOODWIN, KBE, THE QUEEN’S REPRESENTATIVE, BY LITIA GASAGASA MAWI, NON-RESIDENT HIGH COMMISSIONER OF THE REPUBLIC OF FIJI  ON THE OCCASION  OF  HER  PRESENTATION  OF  CREDENTIALS  ON 4TH APRIL 2012 

RA_MAWI_2YOUR EXCELLENCY - NI SA BULA VINAKAI HAVE THE HONOR AND PRIVILEGE TO CONVEY THE WARMEST PERSONAL GREETINGS AND SINCERE BEST WISHES OF HIS EXCELLENCY RATU EPELI NAILATIKAU, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF FIJI, FOR THE CONTINUING GOOD HEALTH OF YOUR EXCELLENCY, AND FOR THE PROSPERITY OF THE PEOPLE OF THE COOK ISLANDS. IN CONVEYING SUCH GREETINGS, I AM ALSO HONORED TO HUMBLY PRESENT TO YOUR EXCELLENCY THE LETTERS OF CREDENCE BY WHICH HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT HAS ACCREDITED ME AS THE NON-RESIDENT HIGH COMMISSIONER OF THE REPUBLIC OF FIJI TO THE COOK ISLANDS. 

YOUR EXCELLENCYWHEN THE FIJI GOVERNMENT LIFTED THE PUBLIC EMERGENCY REGULATIONS IN THE FIRST WEEK OF JANUARY THIS YEAR, IT WAS AN ASSERTIVE INDICATOR TO ALL STAKEHOLDERS GENUINELY INTERESTED IN FIJI’S TESTIMONY AS A SOVEREIGN NATION ACTING IN ITS OWN DELIBERATE JUDGEMENT AND WITHIN ITS OWN STIPULATED TIMELINES WITHOUT ANY EXTERNAL PRESSURE.  IN THIS WAY, FIJI APPRECIATED THE REASSURING CALM AND ACCEPTANCE BY HER NEIGHBORING SMALL ISLAND NATIONS IN THE PACIFIC.  FIJI BELIEVES THAT AS FAR AS SMALL ISLAND STATES ARE CONCERNED, THIS ERA OF UNPARALLELED GLOBAL CHALLENGES, WHICH DEMARCATE NOT BETWEEN THE RICH AND THE POOR, THE BIG AND THE SMALL, THE VULNERABLE AND THE SECURE, IS A TIME WHERE WE NEED TO STAND EVEN CLOSER BY EACH OTHER.  FIJI APPRECIATES THIS MOTIVATION FOR STRONGER RELATIONS AND EXPECTS TO MAKE THE MOST OF ALL THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT ARE AVAILABLE THROUGH REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS THAT HARNESS THE GLOBAL ADVOCACY OF MATTERS THAT ARE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF ALL PACIFIC PEOPLE.

YOUR EXCELLENCY  LAST MONTH, THE PRIME MINISTER OF FIJI, COMMODORE JOSAIA VOREQE BAINIMARAMA ANNOUNCED THE PROCESS OF FORMULATING FIJI’S NEW CONSTITUTION.   IN DOING SO, THE PRIME MINISTER EMPHASIZED THAT THE NEW CONSTITUTION MUST BE PREMISED ON THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND VALUES SET OUT IN THE PEOPLE’S CHARTER FOR CHANGE, WHICH THE FIJI GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN ADVOCATING AND IMPLEMENTING SINCE 2009. THE PROCESS BEGINS BETWEEN MAY – JULY 2012 WITH AN INTENSIVE AND ALL-INCLUSIVE CIVIC EDUCATION PROGRAMME AIMED AT ENSURING INFORMED PUBLIC DIALOGUE AND DEBATE DURING THE CONSTITUTION MAKING PROCESS. THIS IS TO BE FOLLOWED BETWEEN JULY-SEPTEMBER BY CONSULTATIONS BETWEEN FIJI CITIZENS AND A 5-MEMBER CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION. FROM OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2012, THE CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION WILL ASSEMBLE THE PUBLIC SUBMISSIONS AND BASED ON THE DECLARED GUIDING PRINCIPLES, WILL DRAFT THE NEW CONSTITUTION FOR SUBMISSION IN JANUARY 2013 TO A CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY, WHO WILL FROM JANUARY – MARCH 2013 DELIBERATE ON THE DRAFT CONSTITUTION. THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY IS EXPECTED TO APPROVE A NEW CONSTITUTION BY THE END OF FEBRUARY 2013.  IT WILL SUBSEQUENTLY BE ASSENTED TO BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT AND ELECTIONS WILL BE UNDERTAKEN NO LATER THAN SEPTEMBER 2014.

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YOUR EXCELLENCYIN THE LEAD UP TO THAT DATE, FIJI STANDS IMMEDIATELY READY TO WORK WITH YOUR COUNTRY. ALONG WITH MY COLLEAGUES IN THE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTORS AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN FIJI, WE STAND READY TO WORK WITH OUR ASSOCIATES IN THE COOK ISLANDS, TO EXPLORE WAYS AND MEANS, OF DISCERNING NEWER MODES OF DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION THAT WILL PROVIDE OUR PEOPLE WITH OPPORTUNITIES TO PRODUCTIVELY ENGAGE AND SHARE SOLUTIONS TO THE INCREASING CHALLENGES THAT ARE FACING THEM IN A FAST-CHANGING WORLD.  WHILST GROWING OUR ECONOMIES, WE WILL TOGETHER STRIVE TO CONTINUALLY ENHANCE AND ENRICH THESE RELATIONS IN THE POLITICAL, ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CONTEXTS THROUGH CLOSER COLLABORATION BETWEEN OUR PRIVATE SECTORS, OUR CIVIL SOCIETIES AND OUR COMMUNITIES IN NURTURING “A RESILIENT PACIFIC COMMUNITY THROUGH SELF-RELIANCE AT ALL LEVELS”.

ON THIS NOTE I ALSO ACKNOWLEDGE, YOUR EXCELLENCY, THE NUMEROUS FIJIANS WHO ARE EARNING LIVELIHOODS HERE, IN THE PROCESS OF CONTRIBUTING TO YOUR COUNTRY’S ECONOMY. THEIR EXISTENCE IN SUCH A NOTABLE NUMBER IS TESTIMONY TO THE WARMTH AND FRIENDLINESS OF LIFE HERE IN THE COOK ISLANDS. IT IS ALSO A FIRM FOUNDATION FOR CLOSER LINKS IN PEOPLE TO PEOPLE RELATIONS. YOUR EXCELLENCYIT IS NOW MY HONOR TO PRESENT TO YOU MY LETTERS OF CREDENCE. VINAKA SAKA VAKALEVU.