Twenty-three Pacific Island countries and more than ten foreign countries will be participating at the inaugural Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) at the Sheraton Fiji Resort in Denarau from 5-7 August, 2013. The call for a PIDF was endorsed by Pacific Island leaders at the 2012 ‘Engaging With the Pacific’ meeting held in Nadi in August last year. Speaking at a media briefing for the PIDF this morning, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs deputy secretary, Penijamini Lomaloma said PIDF is a unique platform bringing together leaders from the public and private sectors and civil society to address regional development challenges, through mutually beneficial innovative partnerships.

“This is the first time we are giving the people of the Pacific a platform to come and express the things that are important to them and participate in the decision making process. This is giving them the ability and the chance to participate at the strategic level of decision making,” Mr Lomaloma said. Mr Lomaloma said projects would also be discussed at the meeting to assist people at the grassroots level.

“The commitments are well and good but it’s the action on the ground that is important to us. The meeting will also come up with projects that will directly benefit you and me. Right now, there are a number of projects that hopefully will be announced during the PIDF. That is through partnerships. Major public announcement is also expected on renewable energy. These are projects that would assist people at the community level.”

He stressed that the meeting would ensure that decisions made are translated into concrete actions. “The world came together in the meeting in Rio last year and we reviewed where we were in terms of sustainable development. One thing that came out of that meeting is the agreement that the current way of doing things is not working and there is a heavy emphasis on economic growth. Economic growth, while it’s good, the result is what we have today. It is an uneven sided triangle where we just focus on getting economic development at the expanse of the environment and our citizens. The result of that is an increase in poverty, climate change has increased and the financial crisis of a few years ago is all linked to the way we do business. During the Rio meeting, we woke up to the fact that we ought to change direction,” Mr Lomaloma highlighted.

The theme for the PIDF 2013 inaugural Summit is “Leadership, innovation and partnership for Green/Blue Pacific economies.”

Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) chief executive officer, Ms Mereia Volavola welcomed the chance given to players in the private sector to discuss issues of sustainable development with the public sector and the civil society.

“Added to this forum are the regional and international agencies that provide technical expertise and advice. The inclusion of private sector and CSO and other regional organisations really puts into practice the inclusiveness and the collaboration that had been mentioned in many forums but sadly never followed through. This forum is paving a way of connecting the policy makers and the implementers,” Ms Volavola added.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Secretary Penijamini Lomaloma

Fiji Election: AG Chairs Inaugural Meeting of Elections “Coordinating Committee”

Yesterday [Monday June 10], Attorney-General and Minister Responsible for Elections Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum convened and chaired the inaugural meeting of an international committee to discuss assistance for Fijian Elections Office leading up to the 2014 parliamentary elections.

“This first meeting marks a significant step forward in Fiji’s preparations for the 2014 elections. The Bainimarama Government’s top priority is making sure that elections are conducted in a smooth, transparent and apolitical manner, using best international practices, unlike elections in the past. Partnership with the international community will help us achieve this,” said the Minister, speaking after the meeting.

The coordinating Committee will be responsible for organising and coordinating member countries assistance for the 2014 elections. Yesterday’s meeting included High Commissioners, Ambassadors and representatives from United States of America, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, India, France and Britain, as well as representatives from the European Union, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Commonwealth Secretariat. It is also understood that other countries and organisations may join the Committee.

“The Committee has been organised to identify what resources each country is willing and able to contribute,” said the Minister. Committee members are expected to report back to the Minister Responsible for Elections on what specific assistance their governments or organizations will be willing to provide to the Fijian Elections Office in preparation for the 2014 elections.

The Coordinating Committee will have its second meeting early next month.


Fiji Election: AG Chairs Inaugural Meeting of Elections “Coordinating Committee”

L-R (Front): Deputy Chief Mission, Korean Embassy, Ms Oka Byol-Im ; Japanese Ambassador, H.E Eiichi Oshima ; Acting Head of Mission, Australian High Commission, Mr Glenn Miles; Indonesian Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Adil Chandra Salim; Attorney-General and Minister Responsible for Electoral Reforms, Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum; Commonwealth Electoral Expert, Mr Carl W. Dundas, Political Affairs Officer in the Goo Offices Section, Commonwealth, Dr Tes-Ann Kremer, Acting Head of Mission, New Zealand High Commission, Mr Phillip Taula

L-R (Back): Charge’ De Affairs, Embassy of Republic of France, Mr Jules Irrmann; United Nations Resident Coordinator Mr Knut Ostby; Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Suva, Mr. Jeffrey Robertson; Indian High Commissioner, H.E Mr Vinod Kumar; Head of Delegation of the European Commission to Fiji, Ambassador Andrew Jacobs; Advisor and Head of Democracy Section, Commonwealth, Mr Martin Kasirye; The Acting British High Commissioner Steven Chandler



All Fiji Citizens living in Japan are now being advised that the Voter Registration Exercise for the 2014 Fiji General Election will be undertaken soon. The Embassy of the Republic of Fiji in Tokyo will be coordinating this exercise and as such we need to ascertain the number of eligible Fiji nationals that are going to be in Japan during the General Election which is scheduled to be undertaken in September, 2014.

The voting age for the upcoming General Election has come down to 18 and those that fall in this category should advise the Embassy of the Republic of Fiji, Tokyo of your addresses and contacts so that we can further communicate with you in due course.

Please note that the urgency of this exercise is such that the Embassy of the Republic of Fiji, Tokyo would like to receive your contact information (Full name, Date of Birth, Address, Telephone, Email) no later than the 25th of January, 2013. For more information, you can contact Second Secretary, Ms. Kelera Wright on telephone: 03-3587-2038 or email: Your cooperation will be highly appreciated.


Fijian President Re-Appointed For Three Years

His Excellency, the President of Republic of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau was on Monday morning, 12 November 2012 re-appointed  for another three years at a swearing-in ceremony at Government  House. The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, alongside Cabinet ministers, dignitaries and the diplomatic corp.


Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama congratulating HE the President of Fiji

Ratu Epeli was sworn-in by Chief Justice Anthony Gates, who administered the Oath of allegiance and the Oath for the Due Execution of the Office of the President. His Excellency following his reappointment ceremony inspected a full military guard of honor.


HE the President inspecting a full military guard of honor