For immediate release
Thursday 25th February 2021, Suva FIJI—Forum Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor has welcomed Fiji parliamentary standing committee consideration of the 2005 revision of the founding agreement of the Pacific Islands Forum.
Secretary General Taylor and Deputy Secretary General Dr Filimon Manoni appeared virtually on Monday 22 February before a five-member panel considering submissions on the 2005 Agreement Establishing the Pacific Islands Forum.
The Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence convened after the Fiji Government Cabinet recently endorsed a proposal to ratify the 2005 Agreement. Fiji and several other Forum members signed the Agreement at the Forum Leaders Meeting in Papua New Guinea in 2005.
SG Taylor said the submission before the Standing Committee signified the engagement and commitment from the Forum’s host nation. The Committee members are Chair- Hon. Alexander O’Connor, Deputy Chair Hon. Dr Salik Govind, Hon. Selai Adimaitoga, Hon. Anare Jale, and Hon. Pio Tikoduadua.
“Fiji’s ratification will represent a significant milestone in our Forum family and fasten the bridges that we have rebuilt within the Forum and the regional relations we have strengthened over the years,” Dame Meg told the Committee.
She presented a historical overview of the Forum, which has gone through name changes, increase in membership, and key milestones such as the UNCLOS, decolonialisation, regional trade and the Rarotonga Treaty.
The 2005 Agreement follows on from previous governing agreements for the organisation in 1973, 1991, and 2000, and it broadens membership categories for Associate Members and Observers.
“Fiji’s ratification will be significant for the region as it is the final act required to bring into force the 2005 Agreement, and thus set in motion the next chapter of the Forum,” said Dame Meg. —ENDS
Contact: Lisa Williams-Lahari, Public Affairs Adviser, email@example.com
PIF submission to the Fiji Parliament Foreign Affairs and Defence Subcommittee