Fiji Opposition MP Nawaikula questions delay in ratifying PIF agreement

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The Fijian Government should answer why it has taken Fiji 16 years to ratify the 2005 agreement on establishing the Pacific Islands Forum(PIF), says Opposition MP Niko Nawaikula.

He also said Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum should also tell Fiji why it decided to form a rival group the Pacific Islands Development Forum(PIDF) in 2013.

Nawaikula said the AG should also explain why Fiji was suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum in 2008.

He said the forum had recommended Fiji to hold general elections in March 2009.

“We all know what happened, instead of holding the election, that side of the House abrogated the 1997 Constitution,” Nawaikula said.

He also reminded the Government to reflect on its past and make amends.

“If you don’t go back to make good of what happened then, what hope do we have?

“Without the past, you cannot have a better future.”

Nawaikula said the late prime minister Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara had formulated the PIF.

“It was for the purpose of regionalism, to protect member States so that no one was left behind because that is our Pacific culture, vuvale.

“Vuvale, the Pacific way, talanoa, which you are trying to adopt.

“Those were established by Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara and that is what I am recommending to them, go read The Pacific Way.”
He said the Government was now using what had been established by Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara more than 30 years ago.

Nawaikula said Ratu Mara emphasised the importance of vuvale, the Pacific Way, consensus and talanoa.

He called on Government to be earnest and genuine in its bid to ratify the 2005 agreement and not to use it to “simply get some money, Nawaikula said

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS