Caption: Minister Kubuabola with Ambassador Ashe pictured at the UN.
NEW YORK, Saturday, 28 September 2013: Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Fiji’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, held a bilateral meeting today with the President of the General Assembly, Dr John Ashe.
Minister Kubuabola congratulated Dr. Ashe for taking on the important task of Presiding over the United Nations General Assembly at its 68thsession. The Minister assured the President of the General Assembly of Fiji’s support to his work.
As current Chair of the Group of 77 and China, both the Minister and the PGA agreed that Fiji plays a key role in the sustainable development discussions being undertaken by the General Assembly. Being from Antigua and Barbuda, a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) in the Caribbean region, the PGA understood very well the challenges faced by developing countries generally, in particular SIDS.
The discussion touched on the important preparatory work and processes that will be undertaken at the United Nations in the next few months leading up to the international conference to address the concerns of SIDS, which will be held in Samoa in 2014. The PGA underscored his commitment to the plight of SIDS adding that the SIDS conference next year in Samoa will be a main feature of his Presidency, as well as being one of his final major responsibility as PGA.
Minister Kubuabola thanked Dr Ashe for having visited Fiji twice this year and invited him to do so again during his tenure as President of the General Assembly.
FIJIAN FOREIGN MINISTER JOINS PACIFIC MINISTERS AT MEETING WITH SINGAPORE FOREIGN MINISTER
NEW YORK, Saturday, 28 September 2013: The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Singapore, Mr. K Shanmugam, hosted a working lunch for the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the Pacific SIDS countries in the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York.
The lunch was held at the Singapore Mission to the United Nations on Friday 27 September, to discuss issues of common interest. While Minister Shanmugam has met with the Pacific Island Ministers on several occasions in the past, this was the first time they were meeting in New York.
In a wide ranging discussion covering issues of common concern to the Pacific Islands, Minister Shanmugam assured his counterparts that Singapore remains ready to work together with them on strengthening bilateral ties. In his response, Minister Kubuabola expressed his appreciation to Singapore for the assistance and support to Fiji in different areas of bilateral cooperation established in the past year – in health, foreign affairs and energy, among others. He welcomed Singapore’s readiness to continue working with Fiji and the Pacific SIDS and to explore new areas of cooperation.
Responding to a particular query during the discussion regarding Fiji’s relations with Australia, Minister Kubuabola expressed his optimism that this is expected to improve following the recent election of a new Government in Australia.