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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

Training aims to strengthen protocol officers' knowledge and skills in Fiji

April 23 2013 - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation yesterday initiated a week long Protocol Officers’ training. This specialized training is the first of its kind for Fiji with the express goal of shoring up Protocol Officers’ knowledge and skills.

The event conducted at the Nasova Police Academy is being attended by Protocol Officers from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Fiji Police Force, and Republic of Fiji Military Force and from various Pacific Missions based in Suva.

In opening the training yesterday, Fiji’s Roving Ambassador, Madam Litia Mawi, said Protocol Officers plays a vital role in ensuring affable relations between States is maintained through international norms of courtesy and etiquette. This is congruent with Pillar 11 of Fiji’s Roadmap to Democracy in enhancing Global integration and international relations.

“The orchestration of Pillar 11 of Fiji’s Roadmap is captured by the Foreign Ministry’s vision in the Ministry’s Corporate Plan of 2013: “a progressive and sustainable Fiji through strengthening partnership and collaboration with all stakeholders at national, regional and international level,” Madam Mawi said.

In the course of attaining this, Madam Mawi said Fiji would be welcoming numerous visitors from the regional and international community including eminent personalities, high-level panel and international dignitaries for the purpose of meetings and consultations.

Protocol Officers therefore play an important role in ensuring that these visits are excellently facilitated with guests accomplishing the purpose of their visit.

“In such protocol we can’t say to the guest of honor, please come back next week so we can serve you better.”

“In such protocol we can’t influence the weather and cancel open air events due to some raindrops.”

“In such protocol everything should work out as planned at the planned moment in some way or other without making it too obvious that things went different.”

“Even with the best professional training, sometimes things do not go right.”

Madam Mawi said this is the bitter truth that neither experienced Protocol Officers nor beginners could get away from.

She said both knowledge and experience is essential in this profession in order to combat the protocol challenge to “be ever ready to quickly and smoothly approach alternative solutions”.

Madam Mawi challenged all participants to switch to ‘learning mode’ if they are to absorb the most from ‘old school Protocol professionals’ who are here to mould them into successful Protocol Officers.

The facilitation of these expert instructions is being conducted by HE Mr. Tan Keng Jin, a seasoned diplomat, former Chief of Protocol of the Republic of Singapore and currently head of Public Affairs at the Institute of South East Asian Studies.

 

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