18 Aug 2011

Forum chief say Fiji regime puts agency's principles at stake

7:56 pm on 18 August 2011

The secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, says the fundamental principles of the regional agency are at stake with Fiji's military led government continuing to cling to power.

Mr Slade, addressing officials from Forum member countries in Suva ahead of the summit in Auckland in three weeks, told them that military rule and an erosion of human rights and individual freedoms are inconsistent with the agency's noble ambitions.

He says the Forum's Ministerial Contact Group has strongly encouraged Fiji to restore democracy, saying a constitutionally elected government is essential to building investor confidence and growing the economy.

Mr Slade says the MCG Ministers were also concerned that the continuing extension of the Public Emergency Regulations infringes on the basic rights of Fiji citizens.

He says the MCG will make recommendations at the summit on Fiji's participation in regional trade and economic meetings and consider whether the regime is taking sufficient steps to enable a return to parliamentary democracy.