Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
Belgrade, Serbia, 06 September 2011: Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, presented his statement to the Commemorative Ministerial Meeting of the Non Aligned Movement this morning, highlighting the relevance of the NAM in its 50th year of action, and the importance Fiji places on the principles of non-aggression, non-interference, respect for independence, equality and peaceful co-existence that were the basis for the formation of the NAM.
Minister Kubuabola used the occasion to announce to NAM Members that in line with the NAM position of respect for sovereignty and opposition to colonialism of any kind, Fiji and other PSIDS leaders meeting at the 2nd Engaging with the Pacific meeting in Nadi, Fiji had agreed to support French Polynesia/Tahiti Nui’s re-inscription on the UN’s decolonization list as the first step in its quest for self-determination.
Minister Kubuabola also spoke of the need for support to all nations seeking their own path to democracy, be it in the Middle East, North Africa, or Fiji. He outlined the path that Fiji was pursuing to secure a sustainable form of true democracy for Fiji’s future.
Non Aligned Movement members all spoke of the continuing relevance of the NAM despite the change in global structures and situations. Although the yolk of colonialism has long since been lifted, new forms of colonialism including in trade and aid relations, needs to be addressed by the NAM. In this way, the NAM would be able to further its standing achievements of ensuring that the individually weak are given a strong collective voice against the interests of the privileged few.
The Ministerial meeting ended on 6 September 2011, 50 years to the day since the formation of the Non Aligned Movement in the same city of Belgrade.
(Minister Kubuabola's statement below)
Address by Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation,to the Commemorative Ministerial Meeting of the Non Aligned Movement, Belgrade, Serbia, 5-6 September 2011
Honourable Minister Mr. Vuk Jeremic [Yeremich]Honourable Minister Mohammed Kamel AmrColleague MinistersExcellenciesLadies and GentlemanGood morning, and Bula Vinaka to you all from the tropical islands of Fiji.
I am most honoured to be speaking here today as one of the two new Members of the Non Aligned Movement. Our choice to advance our membership of the NAM, and its coming to fruition in the 50th year of the group’s history, is testimony to Fiji’s belief that the group has as much to offer in today’s multi-polar world as it did in 1961.
The visionary leaders who formed the Non Aligned Movement in that year wanted their new organization to stand for non-aggression, non-interference, respect for independence, equality and peaceful co-existence. Although in a different global context, these fundamental principles of international relations remain as relevant today and into the future as they were in 1961.
The world today is going through economic, social and political upheaval in ways not seen before, and principled responses by the international community based on the fundamental principles of the NAM will be required to get through these times for a prosperous future. Be it in the middle-east, North Africa or in my own country of Fiji, the quest for a sustainable democracy that meets the needs of each individual country must be supported.
In this context of supporting the efforts of the international community, Fiji serves the international community as best it can through participation in a number of peace-keeping operations in areas of conflict. This is perhaps all we can do in countries far afield. Closer to home, leaders of Fiji and a number of Pacific Small Island Developing States at a Summit meeting last week on 1-2 September hosted by my government in Nadi, Fiji, have expressed support for the re-inscription of French Polynesia/Tahiti Nui on the UN’s decolonization committee list. PSIDS Leaders agreed to this as a first step in Tahiti Nui/French Polynesia’s quest for self-determination, recognizing that sustainable economic development and domestic reform will need to accompany action at the international level. We believe that such action and support at the international level is in line with the fundamental principles of national independence and sovereignty that are also the basis for the NAM.
At home in Fiji, our work continues on the basis of the Strategic Framework for Change and the Roadmap to Democracy. This roadmap provides a focus till 2012 on infrastructure and socio-economic development, the key supporting pillars to a harmonious sustainable democracy. From next year, formal work on developing a constitution that will provide for equal treatment of each citizen, including fundamental social and economic rights in addition to political rights, will provide for the adoption of a constitution in 2013. This will then feed into elections planned for 2014, when for the first time in Fiji’s independent history each citizen of the country will be able to vote for the most meritorious candidate, regardless of ethnicity as in previously mandated communal role elections. Fiji looks to the continued support of the Non Aligned Movement in its quest for a true democracy that will support the needs of all its citizens.
Honourable Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen, Fiji is of the firm belief that the NAM can play a leadership role in global affairs. The decision to create a joint economic cooperation committee and to provide leadership continuity and planning through a Joint Coordinating Committee should be signals to the international community at large that the NAM continues to seek ways to best serve itself and the world through greater efficiency and focus. The NAM has the unique ability to address emerging issues on its merits, unencumbered by pre-judgement and adherence to the ideology of others.
Fiji is honoured to be a part of this family of nations, and looks to take an active part in its rejuvenation, guided by the founding principles of the NAM as laid out by its visionary leaders, and the Bandung spirit.
Vinaka vaka levu, thank you very much.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji