Fiji’s President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere highlighted the concept of Fiji’s ‘Ocean of Peace’ as world leaders seek a peaceful resolution to the war of aggression by the Russian Federation in Ukraine.

Speaking at the “Summit on Peace in Ukraine” roundtable on the Human Dimension of the war in Ukraine, President Katonivere highlighted that from Fiji’s perspective, addressing the human dimensions of the war instigated by Russia against Ukraine requires consideration on several critical points and strategies.

“The urgent priority is to end the war and thus halt the torture and ill-treatment of individuals, adhering to international humanitarian law and human rights law.

“The Ocean of Peace notion embodies the spirit of harmony and respect for human dignity that must guide our actions.

“We advocate for the promotion of multilateralism, adherence to the rule of law, and respect for the UN Charter, which are essential frameworks for the peaceful resolution of conflicts,” he said.

The President emphasised that it is imperative to address the war’s humanitarian costs, particularly its detrimental impact on the global food supply chain.

“Fiji supports the use of diplomatic channels and intermediaries that have proven effective in past engagements.

“I know we have Leaders in this room or at this Summit, including the United Nations, who are already doing a lot along these lines, in engaging with our regional partners and leveraging existing diplomatic relations to building a consensus for peace.

President Katonivere said that transparency and trust are two vital elements in cooperation.

“Essential conditions for cooperation include transparency in actions and intentions, and the building of trust between parties.

Fiji believes that mutual respect and understanding are the bedrocks of peaceful resolution.

“Establishing cooperative bonds and common allegiances would benefit our pursuit for peace”.

President Katonivere stated that recognising the significant costs of escalating conflict is essential, and leaders must collectively strive towards de-escalation and reconciliation.

He also called on world leaders to learn from past conflict resolution efforts and adapt peace strategies to the current context ensuring they are relevant and effective.

Meanwhile, it was a joyous occasion for the Zurich community in Switzerland when they finally had the opportunity to meet the President of Fiji, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere for the first time.

The community welcomed the President with a traditional ceremony to show their long-awaited appreciation.

He spoke about the need to appreciate our culture and community as means for promoting Fijian values.

He stressed that his presence in Switzerland on this occasion is to promote global peace at the highest level as the war in Ukraine is affecting Fiji and the international community. Further discussions included Fiji’s fight against climate change and the developments back at home.

“I am thankful that we can have this gathering and am grateful to everyone for being here today.”

2As we’ve often said, we can never take Fiji out of a Fijian. This gathering goes to show how Fijians around the world still cherish Fiji.””

The meeting was also an opportunity for the Fijian Zurich community to have a talanoa session with the President.

Community leader Kelemedi Lave expressed the group’s appreciation to the President for his visit.