29 Sep 2010

UN told of Fiji's aspirations

7:36 am on 29 September 2010

Fiji's interim Prime Minister has told the United Nations General Assembly that his regime wants to be a good global citizen.

Fiji has been suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum and the Commonwealth since last year, over the regime's refusal to hold elections.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama said Fiji had formalised diplomatic relations over the past year with many countries with which no ties previously existed.

"We must work in collaboration with all member states with the aim of sustainable world peace, substantive justice, and respect for all," he said.

"We cannot achieve these objectives, nor have actual implementation of these noble principles, if we simply fall into predetermined political spheres of influence."

Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group says it regrets that Fiji's suspension from the Commonwealth remains necessary in order to protect what it calls the fundamental values of the Commonwealth.

At a meeting in New York at the weekend, Group members reaffirmed their solidarity with the people of Fiji.

Radio New Zealand International reports a statement expressed the hope that Fiji would take the necessary steps to enable the restoration of its full participation in the Commonwealth as soon as possible.

Fiji was suspended from the Commonwealth last year after the Pacific Islands Forum suspended its membership over the regime's refusal to hold elections.

EU sanctions continue

The European Union has extended its sanctions against Fiji for a further six months.

An elected government in Fiji was deposed by the military in December 2006. It was the fourth coup in Fiji since 1987.