Fiji will continue to build on its foreign policy of being “friends to all and enemies to none” in 2015 to enhance international relations.
Speaking to foreign diplomats at the ‘end of the year’ reception recently in Suva, the Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola said he looked forward to working in close cooperation and partnership with the foreign envoys.
Minister Kubuabola said while his ministry had been through some challenging times this year, there were more satisfying accomplishments along the way.
“Working closely with you all on bilateral, regional and multilateral levels ensured that our goals, values, principles and objectives were fulfilled,” Minister Kubuabola said.
He thanked all the diplomats for being a true friend of Fiji, both prior to and post general elections in September.
“Despite a few tough challenges, Fiji continues to be assigned with international obligations by those who believe in us.”
Highlighting some of Fiji’s special and notable achievements in the international arena, Minister Kubuabola said Fiji established 17 formal diplomatic relations this year.
“Fiji opened a Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva and a Consulate General Office in Shanghai. We have also widened areas of diplomatic contacts by countries, as well as regions to cover the entire globe. We now have formalised diplomatic relations with 168 countries.
“This year, we also had the serious task of hosting some of the key leaders from around the world and successfully hosting the 2nd Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) Summit.
“Some very high benchmarks were struck in public diplomacy when we had high level visits from the People’s Republic of China, India and Indonesia. We hosted the then President of Indonesia, H.E Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in June and the President of the People’s Republic of China, H.E Xi Jinping in November. In that same week, we also hosted an Official Visit by the Prime Minister of India, H.E Narendra Modi,” Minister Kubuabola said.
Minister Kubuabola also expressed gratitude to those nations who came to Fiji’s assistance in September when 45 of our peacekeepers were held captive in Syria.
He said Fiji’s representation in international climate change bodies in Lima, Peru last week was indicative of the country’s contribution in the global arena.
“Our permanent secretary, Mr Amena Yauvoli has been given another term to be the chair of Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) which is one of the two permanent bodies under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
“Our deputy secretary policy, Mr Luke Daunivalu is representing the 43 member states of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) on the Adaptation Committee. The committee’s main role is to promote the implementation of enhanced action on adaptation in a coherent manner under the Convention. Fiji’s Conservator of Forests, Mr Samuela Lagataki was also elected as the alternate member of the Adaptation Fund Board,” Minister Kubuabola added.
Minister Kubuabola said the ministry was looking forward to 2015 and what it has to offer.