Canberra- Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka highlighted at today’s bilateral meeting with Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Penny Wong that Fiji is looking forward to elevating our relations to the next level through the reinvigorated Vuvale Partnership.
This important meeting, which took place at Parliament House in Canberra, was an opportunity to discuss Fiji and Australia’s bilateral and regional cooperation and areas of shared aspirations.
Issues such as climate change, national development and poverty alleviation, socio-economic development, and capacity building were discussed at the meeting.
On climate change, Prime Minister Rabuka acknowledged Australia’s efforts to reduce emissions, increase resilience, advance environmental justice, and achieve energy security, adding Fiji is looking foward to their participation in the upcoming COP28 in Dubai.
He further reaffirmed Fiji’s support towards Australia’s bid to host the COP31- now described as a Pacific COP.
The Prime Minister also updated Minister Wong on Fiji’s national development plans, saying that the Coalition Government has emphasised a new chapter for our nation which is, rebuilding trust, respect for human rights, promoting accountability, transparency and strengthening our state institutions.
Furthermore, Hon. Rabuka delved into the empowerment of the itaukei people.
For this, he stated that the role of the indigenous people in our two countries, including their rich cultures, languages and their continued ancestral and spiritual connection to their land, ocean and community is paramount.
He said both Governments could explore the possibility of greater collaboration between our indigenous communities.
On the matter of our people’s participation in the Australian economic sectors around the country and under the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme, Hon. Rabuka added that Fiji is pleased with the positive contributionin the form of remittances.
He assured Minister Wong that Fiji greatly value the relations between our two countries and looks forward to further increasing our engagements through the Vuvale Partnership.
Minister Wong conveyed the Australian Government’s well wishes to Prime Minister Rabuka and his delegation and also thanked Fiji for assisting some Australians who were part of the repatriation flight from Israel to Fiji onboard a chartered Fiji Airways flight last week.
She also thanked Prime Minister Rabuka for his regional leadership, reaffirming Australia’s commitment in areas of mutual interest.