The United Kingdom of Great Britain looks forward to working closely with the Prime Minister of Fiji, Honourable Sitiveni Rabuka and the Fiji Government in championing issues that matter most to Fiji and the Pacific partners.
UK’s commitment was made known this afternoon (January 23rd, 2023) to Prime Minister Rabuka, at an introductory courtesy call from the British High Commissioner to Fiji, Dr Brian James Jones.
High Commissioner Jones congratulated Prime Minister Rabuka and presented him with the London Gazette which, is an official record of Buckingham Palace business detailing Royal appointments and special awards. The 1981 edition announced Prime Minister Honourable Sitiveni Rabuka’s OBE from Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. OBE officer is recognised as the most excellent and highest ranking order of the British Empire awards.
Prime Minister Rabuka said he was honoured to receive the London Gazette and thanked the United Kingdom for the special recognition accorded to him.
He said Fiji and the United Kingdom share profound history and values, which signifies the shared commitment to accomplish climate resilience, economic prosperity and a sustainable future.
On behalf of the Government and the people of Fiji, Prime Minister Rabuka extended his earnest appreciation to the United Kingdom for supporting Fiji through numerous initiatives which, has benefited the communities in Fiji and the Pacific.
He reaffirmed the Fiji Government’s determination to advance cooperation with the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in the key priority areas of economic recovery, climate change, oceans, green growth, defence and security, trade and the sustainable development agenda.
Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka said the people-to-people ties have created opportunities in education, sports and employment, particularly for Fijians who have enlisted in the prestigious British Armed Forces and their families, who now call Britain home.
He said this year is a significant one for the Commonwealth family, as Commonwealth Day coincides with the 10th Anniversary of the signing of the Commonwealth Charter by her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in 2013.
He said that under the new leadership of His Majesty King Charles III, the Commonwealth has much to offer in providing a platform for both developed and developing countries.
Prime Minister Rabuka reasserted Fiji’s commitment to deepen relations with Commonwealth, as it responds to the collective priorities in the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.
As the new Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, Prime Minister Rabuka provided an overview of the immediate priorities of the Pacific Islands Forum to reunite the Pacific family and also thanked the United Kingdom for all their support. He expressed his gratitude to High Commissioner Jones, for the fruitful discussions on the social and economic issues of mutual interest to Fiji and the United Kingdom.
High Commissioner Jones said based on Fiji’s and the UK’s long, historical partnership, both the nations aspire to strengthen efforts towards global peace, by supporting and upholding the values of the United Nations, through Fiji’s contribution to UN Peacekeeping in the Middle East and Africa.
“We are working together as part of the international effort to stand with Ukraine following Russia’s illegal invasion, and working together in the Pacific to counter threats to maritime security. Through the 1500 Fijians, who serve in the British Armed Forces, and Fiji’s own Armed Forces, we will deepen our collaboration as a ‘combined Force for Good’.
“The UK will be Fiji’s closest friend and staunchest ally in the multilateral financial institutions (World Bank, Green Climate Fund, Asian Development Bank-ADB) – fighting Fiji’s corner for access to finance which supports recovery, diversification, and growth after the covid-19 pandemic, but also supports a resilient economy against the changing climate and natural disasters. As members of the Commonwealth, we will work to refresh and revitalise the organisation’s role, in preparation for the 2024 Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting in Samoa.
“The UK will support Fiji’s aspiration as a regional trading hub – not only for physical goods but also the knowledge economy, helping to ensure there is rewarding work for all Fiji’s people to meet their aspirations. Whether that is providing overnight business services – accounting, human resource, legal services – to companies in the UK, continuing to develop Fiji’s exports of niche, high value agricultural products (such as baby ginger) to Europe, or supporting an ecosystem in #Fiji
which, enables entrepreneurs, investors, fin-tech companies and programmers to grow,” High Commissioner Jones said.