29 Sep 2012

CMAG welcomes progress in Fiji but says human rights still an issue

8:50 am on 29 September 2012

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group has welcomed continued progress in Fiji, including the completion of the first phase of voter registration and commencement of the constitutional consultation process.

In a statement, the group welcomed the broad-based national dialogue on Fiji's future taking place, and commended the Constitutional Commission on its work to date.

But Ministers also expressed concern about remaining restrictions on human rights and the rule of law in Fiji.

They urged the government to address these in order to create the environment needed for credible constitutional consultations and elections.

The group also reiterated CMAG's commitment to supporting and encouraging Fiji's reinstatement as a full member of the Commonwealth, through the restoration of civilian constitutional democracy.

CMAG held its 38th Meeting in New York this week with Vanuatu's prime minister, Sato Kilman, and Australia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bob Carr, among the ministers at the meeting.