MEDIA RELEASE: FIJIAN PRIME MINISTER HOSTS HIGH LEVEL DINNER TO CONCLUDE GENEVA VISIT

The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, has hosted a dinner for key ambassadors in the closing stages of his current visit to Geneva to attend the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The dinner was attended by the envoys of China, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Jamaica and Swaziland, the Chargé d’Affaires of Solomon Islands and the Secretary-General of the Association for the Prevention of Torture.
The Prime Minister thanked those present for the assistance they had provided to the Fijian Mission in Geneva since it opened last June. And he again outlined some of the reforms the Government has made to improve the social and economic rights of all Fijians and introduce a more just and equitable society.
Responding to the Prime Minister comments, each ambassador spoke warmly of the progress Fiji has made towards genuine democracy and especially what was described as the efficient and credible conduct of the General Election last September.
China’s Ambassador for Disarmament, Cong Fu, spoke of the deep friendship shared by China and Fiji, and of China’s belief that true friends give each other the space to develop and progress according to their individual will and ability.
The Indonesian Ambassador, Triyono Wibowo, referred to the strong and warm ties shared by Fiji and Indonesia and congratulated the Prime Minister on the election result. He said he looked forward to Fiji ratifying the United Nations Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) and working with Fiji to implement its provisions.
The Ambassador of Jamaica, Wayne Cook, said Fiji’s democratic reforms deserved the admiration of the international community. And he welcomed the establishment of Fiji’s Mission in Geneva, saying the voice of the Pacific was not always articulated effectively in UN forums there.
The Ambassadors of Singapore and Sri Lanka also spoke of the importance of Fiji’s achievements and their warm relations with the country. Ambassador Ravintha Aryasinha of Sri Lanka said he especially appreciated hearing the Fijian Chief Justice, Anthony Gates, publicly thank Sri Lanka for its assistance to Fiji’s judiciary during the recent Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Fiji’s human rights record.
Ambassador Gwebu of Swaziland praised what he called Fiji’s well prepared submission to its UPR hearing and said it had been important in clearing any misconceptions that observers from afar could otherwise have about Fiji.
The Secretary General of the Association for the Prevention of Torture, Mark Thomson, referred to the importance of Fiji’s proposed ratification of UNCAT and its abolition of the death penalty, and the inclusion in the Fijian Constitution of a strong and enforceable Bill of Rights.
The Solomon Islands Charge D ‘Affairs, Barrett Salato, spoke of the respect in which Prime Minister Bainimarama was held in the Pacific for his firm and principled leadership, and of the importance of Fiji’s democratic reforms for the whole region.
The dinner concluded with the Prime Minister again thanking all the ambassadors and other guests for the support they had given Fiji in Geneva.
-ENDS-

Hon. Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama hosted a dinner for key ambassadors in the closing stages of his current visit to Geneva to attend the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Hon. Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama hosted a dinner for key ambassadors in the closing stages of his current visit to Geneva to attend the United Nations Human Rights Council.