The Fijian Minister for Defence, National Security and Immigration, Mr. Joketani Cokanasiga met the Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy of Sweden, Mr Tobias Billstrom yesterday.

During the meeting Mr Tobias expressed the Government of Sweden’s profound appreciation to Fiji in the successful conclusion of the Declaration on International Migration and Development that was adopted by the General Assembly yesterday. Mr Tobias also expressed Sweden’s support to the Group of 77 on the issues of asylum and migration issues as global and all countries, including Sweden, must work actively to put them on the international agenda. On this note, he said the Government of Sweden believes that Sweden must make migration, including labour mobility, process easier for people to go and work in Sweden.

Minister Cokanasiga delivered the lead statement at the UN General Assembly on High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development in Fiji’s capacity as the 2013 Chair of Group of 77 and China. In that statement he reiterated the global nature of migration and the challenges surrounding that must be addressed. These challenges are mostly centered on addressing the root causes of migration (i.e. financial, structural, environmental etc.).

In his meeting with the Swedish Minister, Minister Cokanasiga noted that Sweden is on Fiji’s visa exemption list. The Swedish Minister assured Minister Cokanasiga that his Department will try to follow through to reciprocate Fiji’s generosity. There is currently an average of 2,000 visitors from Sweden that visit Fiji per annum.

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