Fiji Government Statement on PACP and PI Forum
The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, has reaffirmed the Pacific ACP's [PACP] independence from the Pacific Islands Forum after a Special Leaders Meeting held in Port Moresby last month.
The Prime Minister expressed Fiji's belief that the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat has misrepresented a key decision made at this meeting regarding the relationship between it and the PACP.
The outcomes document released by the Forum Secretariat reported that Papua New Guinea [PNG] will host a secretariat for PACP Leaders meetings only, and that the Forum Secretariat will continue its duties for other PACP activities and meetings.
The Prime Minister said that it is Fiji's position that this is a misreporting of the decision taken at last month's Special Leaders Meeting.
"It is our understanding that the PACP Leaders decided that there would be a complete separation between the Forum Secretariat and the PACP," the Prime Minister said. "PNG offered to host and fund a full PACP Secretariat, until
2014, which will be responsible for all PACP related matters and activities."
The Prime Minister added that this decision was made in large part to facilitate Fiji's full and regularised participation in PACP meetings, at all levels.
"In their capacity as the secretariat for the PACP, the Forum Secretariat had the responsibility to equally serve all PACP members. By refusing to include Fiji in meetings that we were fully entitled to attend, the Forum Secretariat was not only violating Fiji's rights, but was also upholding an increasingly irrelevant policy of isolation."
"Last month, Fiji successfully chaired the ACP Ministerial Trade Committee Meeting and co-chaired the EU-ACP Joint-Ministerial Trade Committee Meeting, held in Brussels. And in 2013, Fiji will act as chair of both the G77 plus China at the United Nations, as well as the chair of the International Sugar Council. We take our international obligations very seriously, and are honoured by the trust andsupport the international community, including the members of the PACP, hasshown Fiji."
The Prime Minister has written to the current Chair of the PACP, Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna, and also to the host of the new PACP Secretariat, PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, to request that the ForumSecretariat correct this misrepresentation in the Leaders outcomes document.