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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

4th Induction Training for Diplomats

INDUCTION TRAINING FOR THE DIPLOMATIC SERVICE

Opening Remarks by the Permanent Secretary for Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment, Mrs Taina Tagicakibau

4th diplomatic induction coursePS Tagicakibau

    YOUR EXCELLENCY, AMBASSADOR MATAITOGA;
•    INVITED GUESTS;
•    COURSE PARTICIPANTS;
•    LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;

1.    IT GIVES ME MUCH PLEASURE TO BE INVITED TO OFFICIATE IN THE FOURTH SESSION OF THE INDUCTION TRAINING FOR DIPLOMATIC SERVICE.

2.    I HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT THIS COURSE HAS GAINED MOMENTUM SINCE ITS INCEPTION IN OCTOBER 2011. THOSE THAT HAVE GONE THROUGH THIS COURSE HAVE NOT ONLY BEEN APPRAISED WITH THE BASICS OF REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMACY, BUT HAVE PRACTISED THE SAME IN THEIR RESPECTIVE MINISTRIES OR AGENCIES.

3.    THEREFORE I MUST EXTEND MY DEEP APPRECIATION TO HIS EXCELLENCY, AMBASSADOR MATAITOGA FOR DESIGNING AND CONDUCTING THIS TRAINING PROGRAMME NOT ONLY FOR THE CIVIL SERVICE BUT ALSO OFFICIALS FROM STATUTORY AUTHORITIES AND THE NATION AS A WHOLE.

4.    THIS TRAINING WAS DESIGNED TO:

•    ENSURE THAT ALL OFFICERS RECOMMENDED FOR OVERSEAS MISSIONS POSSESS THE CORE COMPETENCIES FOR THE JOB;

•    ALLOW FOR A READY POOL OF OFFICERS WHO WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR OVERSEAS POSTING AT ANY POINT IN TIME;


•    ALLOW FOR A MORE TRANSPARENT STRATEGY OF APPOINTMENT WHO WILL STAFF FIJI’S OVERSEAS MISSION.

5.    ACCORDINGLY YOU WOULD HAVE NOTED IN THE RECENT ADVERTISEMENT FOR VACANT POSITIONS IN FIJI’S OVERSEAS MISSION, SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THIS COURSE IS NOW PART OF THE MINIMUM QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENT [MQR].

6.    AND FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT HAVE BEEN SELECTED FOR THIS PROGRAM, LET ME ASSURE YOU, THAT YOU CAN CONSIDER YOURSELVES HIGHLY FORTUNATE. THE COMPETITION TO BE SELECTED IS GETTING INTENSIVE AS THE TRAINING IS BECOMING VERY POPULAR NOT ONLY IN THE CIVIL SERVICE BUT TO STATUTORY AND PRIVATE ENTITIES AND ALSO TO SOME NEIGHBOURING PACIFIC ISLAND COUNTRIES.

7.    THIS COURSE WILL INTRODUCE YOU TO FOREIGN POLICY SETTING AND DIPLOMATIC PRACTICE OF FIJI. IT PROVIDES A USEFUL FRAMEWORK FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND YOUR ROLES AS FIJI DIPLOMATIC OFFICERS, IF YOU ARE CERTIFIED AFTER THE COURSE.

8.    I NOTE FROM THE PROGRAMME THAT GUEST SPEAKERS FROM DISTINGUISHED HIGH COMMISSIONS IN FIJI HAVE BEEN INVITED TO SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES WITH YOU. I URGE YOU TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS RARE OPPROTUNITY AND LEARN FROM THEIR PRESENTATIONS.

9.    I WOULD LIKE TO REMIND YOU OF THE STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER, COMMODORE VOREQE BAINIMARAMA AT THE 65TH UNGA ON 30TH SEPTERMBER 2010 AND I QOUTE, “FIJI AND HER PEOPLE, THROUGH THE STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK FOR CHANGE HAVE EMBARKED ON A PATH OF STRUCTURAL REFORM TO MODERNISE AND LIBERALISE OUR ECONOMY TO TODAY’S GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT.
AS PART OF THIS AGENDA, THE FIJI GOVERNMENT HAD REVAMPED ITS FOREIGN POLICY. OUR NEW FOREIGN POLICY DIRECTION STEMS FROM THE PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS THAT WHILE DETERMINING OUR OWN DESTINIES AS SOVEREIGN STATES, WE MUST WORK IN COLLABOARATION WITH ALL MEMBER STATES WITH THE AIM OF SUSTAINABLE WORLD PEACE, SUSTAINABLE JUSTICE, DIGNITY AND RESPECT FOR ALL”

10.     FIJI’S FOREIGN POLICY RELATIONS AND ITS CONDUCT HAS MATURED AND ORGANICALLY DEVELOPED SINCE 2006.

11.    AS OUR EFFORTS IN NATION BUILDING MOVE TO A NEW LEVEL, THE LESSONS WE HAVE LEARNT AND OUR EXPERIENCES WILL GUIDE US, IN SETTING NEW BASIS OF HOW WE WILL CONDUCT BILATERAL AND MULTILATERAL RELATIONS IN THE FUTURE.

12.    WHEN THE PRIME MINISTER OFFICIALLY OPENED THE FIJI MISSION IN BRASILIA, HE HAD REVEALED THAT SINCE APRIL 2010, FIJI HAD INCREASED AND ESTABLISED DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH 37 COUNTRIES. THIS HAS BEEN FURTHER ENHANCED BY THE OPENING OF THE FIJI MISSIONS IN SOUTH KOREA AND ABU DABI.

4th diplomatic induction course

13.     HE HAD FURTHER INDICATED THAT THERE IS ENOURMOUS POTENTIAL FOR GREATER ECONOMIC AND COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITIES BETWEEN OUR RESPECTIVE NATIONS AND OUR RESPECTIVE REGIONS.

14.    IN PURSUIT OF THESE PRIORITIES, FIJI NEEDS DIPLOMATS TO BE AS BOLD AND ENERGETIC IN THEIR DEALINGS WITH OUR COUNTERPARTS.

15.    TO EXPAND OUR NETWORK OF EMBASSIES OVERSEAS, THE COUNTRY NEEDS OFFICERS WHO CAN PROGRESS OUR DIPLOMATIC PRESENCE, WHICH SHOULD MAP ONTO A CHALLENGING LANDSCAPE OF POWER.

16.     WE WILL NEED DIPLOMATS WHO CAN THINK STRATEGICALLY AND LOBBY WITH COHERENT MESSAGES FROM GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY.

17.    I AM CONFIDENT THAT SITTING HERE TODAY ARE THOSE THAT WILL BE HELPING IN SHAPING FIJI’S FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC WORLD OF TOMORROW, THROUGH THESE INTERACTIONS.

18.    SOMEONE ONCE SAID THAT DIPLOMACY IS THE ART OF LETTING SOMEONE HAVE YOUR WAY, AND AM SURE THAT THIS TRAINING WILL GIVE YOU SOME PRACTICAL IDEAS ON HOW BEST TO DO THIS.

19.    NEEDLESS TO SAY, THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR HAVING TRAINED DIPLOMATS ON THE GROUND, WITH ACCESS TO DECSION-MAKERS, MAKING VITAL CONTACTS AND LOBBYING ON BEHALF OF FIJI.

20.    WITH THE OPENING UP OF NEW EMBASSIES, WE SHOULD BE SENDING OUT SIGNAL THAT FIJI IS SERIOUSLY PROGRESSING THE BUSINESS OF BUILDING DEEPER DIPLOMATIC REALTIONSHIPS.

21.    WE CAN NO LONGER BE SENDING OFFICERS OVERSEAS, WHO SIMPLY FIT FOR THE PURPOSE. INSTEAD WE SHOULD BE NOW SETTING OURSELVES GOALS OF EXCELLENCE IN EVERY CRUCIAL AREA OF DIPLOMATIC WORK.

22.    THE COMMISSION IS OF THE VIEW THAT WE NEED TO EQUIP OUR DIPLOMATS WITH SHARPER ECONOMIC SKILLS, SO THAT THEY NOT ONLY UNDERSTAND THE ECONOMIC FORCES SHAPING THE WORLD AROUND US, BUT HAVE THE SPECIALIST KNOWLEDGE TO SPOT COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITIES.

23.    DIPLOMATS WHO CAN LOBBY TO DRIVE DOWN BARRIERS TO TRADE AND BUILD THE POLITICAL RELATIONSHIPS THAT SUPPORT GREATER TRADE AND INVESTMENT FOR OUR SMALL ECONOMY.

24.    IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT WE HAVE DIPLOMATS IN THE RIGHT PLACES, IN THE WORLD, WITH THE RIGHT SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE.

25.    LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I CHALLENGE YOU ALL IN THE SEVEN DAYS THAT YOU WILL UNDERGO THIS TRAINING TO DO YOUR LEVEL BEST AND ACQUIRE MAXIMUM KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL TO MOULD YOU INTO EXCELLENT DIPLOMATS FOR FIJI.

26.    ONCE AGAIN YOUR EXCELLENCY WE ARE INDEED THANKFUL FOR ALL THE HARD WORK YOU HAVE PUT IN THIS PROGRAM.

27.    AND WITH THESE FEW WORDS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I NOW HAVE MUCH PLEASURE IN OFFICIALLY DECLARING OPEN, THE FOURTH INDUCTION COURSE FOR DIPLOMATIC SERVICE.

28.    VINAKA VAKALEVU, THANK YOU AND DHANYA VAAD!