NZ -FIJI REAFFIRM COMMITMENT TO ENHANCE DIPLOMATIC COLLABORATIONS

Diplomatic relations between Fiji and New Zealand has escalated to greater heights this week as New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Right Hon. Winston Raymond Peters made a bilateral visit to Fiji.

Fiji and New Zealand have pledged their commitment to strengthen collaboration on development issues that matter to both the nations as neighbours in a shared region. This was highlighted earlier this week at the welcoming reception hosted by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Inia Seruiratu in honor of DPM Peters official visit to Fiji.

Speaking at the event, Minister Seruiratu said that the visit will enhance Fiji-NZ cooperation at all levels, particularly in terms of trade, investment and people to people ties. He described the visit by Hon. Peters as being timely, given Fiji’s strong leadership in championing the human rights and climate changes issues at the international stage which has dramatically increased Fiji’s engagement with the development partners around the world.

“NZ’s Pacific reset could not have come at a better time, and Fiji welcomes the opportunity to deepen the partnership shared between our countries. This visit will prove to be a major step forward in enhancing partnership at the diplomatic level”

“We share enduring friendship, one that is rooted in the strength of the people to people ties, which connects us and supported by trade and investment,” Minister Seruiratu said.

In his remarks, Deputy NZ Hon. Winston Peters reaffirmed New Zealand’s commitment to work together with Fiji to pursue common goals of prosperity and sustainable development. He also pointed out the importance of the Pacific Reset Program and pledged New Zealand’s support for Fiji’s leadership in championing climate change.

“Almost a year ago I gave an address to the Lowy Institute in Australia called “Shifting the Dial”, in which I outlined the new principles and re-energised approach that New Zealand would take to working with and in the Pacific and the governments. This has become more commonly known as the “Pacific Reset”. In the Reset, we promised more resources, and we will delivered $714m over the next four years. The government has promised support to tackle priority issues in the Pacific, especially climate change.”

“We have already supported Fiji’s COP23 Presidency, and have announced a further $1.5 million to support the establishment of the Pacific regional NDC (Nationally Determined Contributions) hub in Suva. There is a lot more to come, and we are interested in partnering with Fiji on innovative climate change policy and other new initiatives”

“In order to help deliver on these commitments, we are strengthening our High Commission in Suva. We are establishing two new positions, a new Counsellor role dedicated to the Fiji relationship, and a new First or Second Secretary role to strengthen our engagement with regional and multilateral organisations,” Hon.Winston Peters elaborated.