Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama met today [Friday 26 September, New York] with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the General Debate of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, where the Prime Minister will deliver Fiji’s national statement tomorrow.

The Secretary General congratulated the Prime Minister on his victory in Fiji’s recent general election. Mr Ban also congratulated Fiji for the free, fair and democratic manner in which the election was conducted.

The Secretary General said that he has no doubt that the democratic process will restore confidence that Fiji has a strong economic future ahead of it. Mr. Ban added that he hopes Prime Minister Bainimarama and Fiji will continue to play a leadership role in regional development, particularly as the world moves toward the challenges of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The Prime Minister said that when he met the Secretary General one year ago in New York, he made a promise that Fiji would have free and fair elections in 12 months time. In his meeting with Mr. Ban today, he informed the Secretary General that Fiji has faithfully delivered on that promise.

The Prime Minister referred to the excellent job done by the 92-member Multi-national Observer Group – co-led by Australia, Indonesia and India – that monitored the election. He said the election was conducted in accordance with the Fijian Constitution, which establishes a common and equal citizenry,

The Prime Minister said he will reaffirm his Government’s intention to be inclusive and promote the rights and aspirations of all Fijians in his national statement to the UN General Assembly tomorrow.

The Secretary General thanked Fiji and the Fijian people for their commitment to UN peacekeeping. He expressed his deep admiration for the bravery of the Fijian peacekeepers, who had performed so well in the UNDOF Mission in the Middle East, especially during the recent hostage crisis.

The Prime Minister said that UN peacekeeping will remain at the core of Fiji’s foreign policy so that Fiji can continue to serve the global community by helping to bring peace and security to troubled areas around the world. He assured the Secretary General of Fiji’s “100 per cent” commitment to the ongoing integrity of UNDOF.