Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fiji: U.S. Congressman, UN Secretary-General Support Consultations in Fiji

SOURCE Republic of Fiji

U.S. Congressman Eni F.H. Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa) was in Fiji this week to meet with the new U.S. Ambassador to Fiji, Frankie Reed, and paid a courtesy call to Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum today.

During the meeting, Rep. Faleomavaega expressed his support for the recently announced constitutional consultations process, as well as the Fijian Government's commitment to empower the voices of all Fijians, as outlined in the Guiding Principles, to facilitate truly democratic elections.

The importance of this inclusive outreach in Fiji is supported in an op-ed authored by Rep. Faleomavaega, which appeared in The Hill. In it, he points to the pitfalls of "democracy by isolation," noting Fiji's "colonial history, complex ethnic mix and chiefly, provincial, religious and family rivalries," which Government understands must be considered for the drafting of a truly representative Constitution.

As issued in an official statement by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the consultations are "an important step towards the country's return to constitutional order. It is critical…that the voices of all Fijians are heard and their fundamental human rights protected."

Congressman Faleomavaega and the Attorney-General also discussed the growing importance of the Asia-Pacific region to the global economy, inclusive of U.S. business interests in Fiji.

Among some of the most prominent American business interests in Fiji are Fijian mahogany, sugar, and the nation's first luxury casino and convention centre, scheduled to break ground at the end of this month.