The Attorney-General accompanied by Fiji’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Solo Mara had a warm and pleasant meeting with the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Mr Kamalesh Sharma.
The Secretary-General recognized the enormous strides that Fiji has made and congratulated Fiji on the successful holding of its first truly democratic elections held under the Constitution.
The Secretary-General and Attorney-General discussed the new Fijian Constitution that contains an unprecedented and comprehensive Bill of Rights. They discussed the successful UPR report of Fiji at the UN Human Rights Council. They also discussed the objective of the FijiFirst government to create strong independent institutions as provided for under the Constitution.
The Attorney-General also briefed the Secretary-General on the economic strides made by Fiji in recent years and the opportunities of investment for foreign capital. He discussed the prospects for foreign companies and governments, including from the Commonwealth, given the unprecedented and sustained economic growth, public sector reforms and liberalization of the market. The Secretary-General was also informed of Fiji’s full engagement with multilateral agencies including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and International Monetary Fund.
The Attorney-General informed the Secretary-General inter alia of the massive budgetary allocation for infrastructure development and focus on service delivery. They discussed the benefits of free education and other provisions such as free medicine, free water and the civil service reform. They recognized the strides made by Fiji in respect of the ICT sector including the spectrum allocation, the government telecentres, move from analogue to digital television and network coverage.
Discussions were also held regarding technical collaboration in areas of legal drafting, the hubs and spokes program, and capacity building in the Fijian parliament. The Secretary-General and Attorney-General also discussed ways of using Fiji’s hub status and technological advancement for regional co-ordination in the areas of climate change, the blue economy and improving management and response times to natural disasters.
The Secretary-General informed the Attorney-General that the Commonwealth looked forward to warmly welcoming Prime Minister Bainimarama to CHOGM to be held later this year in Malta. The Secretary-General and the Attorney-General also discussed the Secretary-General’s pending visit to Fiji.