Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
STATEMENT BY FIJI’S MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, RATU INOKE KUBUABOLAAT THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT LEADERS’ SUMMIT TEHRAN, IRAN, 30-31 AUGUST 2012
• Mr. Chairman;• The President of the Islamic Republic of Iran,• H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadi Nejad;• Heads of States and Governments;• Fellow Ministers; • Excellencies;• Distinguished Delegates;• Ladies and Gentlemen • At the outset, I wish to convey the apologies of my Prime Minister who had wanted to attend this Summit, but unfortunately, he could not, due to other pressing commitments that demanded his urgent attention.
• I take this opportunity to congratulate you Excellency, on the assumption of your new role as Chairman of this august body. Please also allow me to thank you, and through you, the Government and the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran, for all the logistical arrangements and courtesies that we have been accorded with which has made our stay in Tehran very enjoyable.
• It would be remiss of me not to also convey our deepest appreciation to the Government of Egypt for the manner in which it has successfully led our work, and particularly their assistance and guidance that ensured the admission of Fiji in 2010 as the 120th member of the NAM.
• This is the first time for Fiji to attend the Summit as a member of the NAM. For this reason, and on behalf of our Prime Minister and the Fijian Government, I wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to all delegations for their support towards Fiji’s admission, and also for the congratulatory sentiments that have been expressed on this milestone achievement.
• As one of its newest members, Fiji can testify to the continuing relevance of the NAM in our rapidly evolving world. Fiji’s membership exemplifies our steadfast commitment to its values and objectives, to which we are proud of. In our aspiration to be a good and responsible global citizen, we find that we have much to gain from the NAM in the advancement of our foreign policy. At the same time, we acknowledge that we also have a role to play in effectively advancing the objectives of the organization.
• As we gather in Tehran for this 16th Leaders Summit, we are reminded of the common purpose and founding principles for which this organization was established. We believe that we are here to reaffirm our commitment to strengthen our organization to ensure regional and global issues that affect us all are effectively and appropriately addressed in a timely manner.
• Our theme this year: “Lasting Peace through Joint Global Governance” has come at the right time. I say this because we are discussing this at a time when we are faced with multi-faceted global challenges that continue to threaten our well-being as sovereign nations and undermine our collective efforts to maintain international peace and security.
• While we are here today, our fellow members are suffering from the impacts of wars and atrocities that continue to challenge their nationhood and threaten international order. However, time and time again, we as a group continue to demonstrate our unwavering commitment towards international peace and security, including through our peacekeeping and peace building efforts for which NAM members are the major contributors.
• These dynamics reaffirm that as a group, we could be more proactive in addressing global issues by understanding our differences and confronting our challenges in a more comprehensive and pragmatic manner with a view to assisting our member countries that need our support. Undoubtedly, there is truly a lot that we could learn from our own individual experiences that should enhance our well-being as sovereign states and fulfill our obligations as a member of the international community.
• We have learned from our own experience that we should not give in to the bullying tactics by powerful states, who on one hand, claim to champion human rights and freedoms but on the other, have less to no regard for the rights of sovereign states to determine their own affairs consistent with the needs and aspirations of their peoples.
• It is therefore imperative that we must not, at any time, condone any form of discrimination based on neocolonialist categorizations that make some inferior than others. Mr. Chairman, to do otherwise clearly undermines the founding principles and objectives of the Movement and of the UN Charter.
• As a group, we need to pursue a new international order based on inclusiveness, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, equality and justice. We have to find common grounds and take advantage of our numbers to advance our interests as a group. We should take comfort in our strength 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.
• The theme that we are discussing today is really relevant to Fiji. In our efforts to build a better Fiji, we have learnt that we should not be dismayed by those bigger powers that try to dictate to us how we should govern ourselves. Instead, we should remain strong and fully engage with those that are more understanding towards our cause; those which truly respect the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference. This is the reason we find great value in being a member of the Movement. And this is the reason we believe that NAM could play a more prominent role in facilitating space for Joint Global Governance for its members. Mr. Chairman,
• In order to ensure lasting peace and make Fiji a truly democratic country, we recognized that change had to be undertaken for the long term democratic sustainability of our country. Towards this end, the Fijian Government is comprehensively implementing its guiding document, the “People’s Charter for Change, Peace and Progress”. In addition to this, the Government had put in place a Roadmap that will take us to democratic elections in 2014. Based on the Roadmap, we are currently undergoing the Constitution Consultation process which would ensure that we will adopt a national Constitution by 2013; a Constitution that fully reflects the needs and aspirations of the Fijian people.
• Staying true to our cause as promised in 2009, we are advance in meeting our timelines towards the 2014 elections, and today we have seen a change in the positions of our bilateral and multilateral partners towards supporting Fiji’s Roadmap. We have commenced the electronic voter registration process and have now established the constitution commission which is currently undertaking wide consultations throughout the country to obtaining the people’s views on our new constitution.
• We are progressing well as a country. We have learnt a lot over the years from the good experiences of members of the Movement and that of our Organization, particularly in the conduct of our international relations. We look forward to reciprocating these kind gestures through our full commitment and contribution towards the Movement, wherever possible.
• In conclusion Mr. Chairman, we convey our full support towards you and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran during your term as Chair of the NAM.
I thank you Mr. Chairman
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji