28 Jul 2009

NZ Foreign Minister: Commonwealth to take stock on Fiji

5:32 pm on 28 July 2009

New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully departs for London on Tuesday night to attend a Commonwealth meeting on Fiji, before going to Australia to attend the Pacific Islands Forum.

Mr McCully says the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group meeting will take stock of developments in Fiji since it last met in March.

He says a clear warning was issued at that time that Fiji would face suspension measures under the Commonwealth's Millbrook Declaration if it failed to heed calls, made by Pacific Island Forum leaders earlier this year, to make progress towards a return to democracy.

He says its regrettable that the situation in Fiji has deteriorated further since March, contrary to the calls made by Forum leaders and the Commonwealth.

Following the Commonwealth meeting Mr McCully will deliver a speech to the Lowy Institute in Brisbane on the effect of the global economic crisis on the Pacific.

He will then join the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key at the Pacific Islands Forum in Cairns, where the economic crisis, and the importance of effective development assistance are expected to be key topics of discussions.