In a meeting on the fringes of the PIFs meeting today, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka engaged in a bilateral discussion with Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland, discussing the enduring and robust partnership between Fiji and the Commonwealth.
During the meeting, Secretary General Scotland expressed her heartfelt gratitude for the unwavering support that Prime Minister Rabuka and Fiji have extended to the Commonwealth.
PM Rabuka said the bond between Fiji and the Commonwealth is characterised by its remarkable strength, a testament to the leadership role that Prime Minister Rabuka has played, not only in the present but also in the historical context.
Secretary General Scotland commended Prime Minister Rabuka for his dedicated commitment to the Commonwealth’s shared objectives.
Prime Minister Rabuka expressed his deep appreciation for the Secretary General’s commendations and the honor he felt hearing her speak so highly of Fiji.
Reflecting on Fiji’s historical journey within the Commonwealth, he noted that Fiji had a period of absence from the Commonwealth but expressed immense pride in the pivotal role played in bringing Fiji back into this esteemed community.
Acknowledging the unique geographic position of the Pacific, Prime Minister Rabuka remarked, “We are blessed in the Pacific as we are situated far away from most other regions, making us the furthest outpost. Despite our geographical remoteness, we are immensely proud to actively participate with the Commonwealth in times of wars and emergencies.”
Secretary General Scotland extended her acknowledgment of Fiji’s significant contributions to the Commonwealth, emphasizing that Fiji’s work was instrumental in the creation of the Blue Charter, particularly notable for hosting the first Oceans Conference. She attributed this achievement to Fiji’s visionary leadership on the issue, which has had a far-reaching impact.
The discussions further delved into Fiji’s pioneering role in the development of geospatial data systems, leading to the establishment of warning systems and common sensing technologies.
These initiatives have not only moved people out of harm’s way but have also saved lives, with Fiji and the broader Pacific region at the heart of these critical advancements.
The discussion emphasised the importance of ongoing collaboration in disaster preparedness and addressing loss and damage, highlighting the potential for Fiji to continue walking in unity with the Commonwealth.