Fiji and Australia cooperation and friendship will be elevated to new levels through the first review of the Vuvale Partnership to strengthen engagements in important areas of development such as “economic and trade, labour mobility, skills development and visa access, climate change actions, infrastructure, development priorities, defence and security cooperation, and regional cooperation.”

The first review of the Vuvale Partnership since it was signed in 2019 aims to realign the approach, contents and desired outcomes of the Fiji and Australia relationship by reflecting on the vision, goals and priorities of the new governments of both nations.

The discussions undertaken through the two-day senior officials meeting was co-chaired today by the Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Dr Lesikimacuata Korovavala and Australia’s High Commissioner to Fiji, Ewen McDonald. It was attended by the permanent secretaries and senior officials of both Australia and Fiji.

In his remarks, Dr Korovavala emphasised the need to realign the architecture of the Vuvale Partnership, to ensure its agility, realistic engagements and sustainability of outcomes that are in line with the governments’ objectives.

He said ‘we need to look at priorities from the standpoint of the new governments, to strengthen monitoring and evaluation, while some priorities need reworking to shape it in ways that is targeted”.

“We are aware of the importance of our meeting and what our relationship means to the wider Pacific Family, that calls for deeper cooperation and accountability. Our work in these two days will have significant contribution to these goals.

“We are looking at issues that are current and emerging, impactful and sustainable; that raises our ability to deliver services, that in turn raises the quality of life of our peoples,” Dr Korovavala said.

High Commissioner McDonald said the Australian Government was pleased to undertake this timely review to further deepen our cooperation to new levels.

“Australia’s relationship with Fiji is deep and enduring. But with the change of leadership in Australia and Fiji since the partnership was signed, it is important that our Vuvale Partnership reflects the priorities of the day.

“We need to ensure our Vuvale Partnership is delivering for both our nations. This means ensuring it is fit for purpose to boost economic growth, increase people-to-people links and support the peace and prosperity of our region” High Commissioner McDonald said.

He commended Fiji’s strong leadership at the global and regional arena on prioritising issues like climate change, economic sustainability and inclusivity.

Vuvale Partnership recognises the respect and reciprocity of our partnership, which continues to grow from strength to strength.