Foreign relations of the United States - Wikipedia
“The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Trump's son- in-law, Jared Kushner, has developed a close relationship with. The European Union welcomes Fiji's accession to the International Covenant on . The EU's relationship with the region; information on its history and the EU policies Paris - OECD and UN · Philippines · Russia · Rwanda · Saudi Arabia By clicking any link on this page you are giving your consent for us to set cookies. Fiji – United States relations have improved significantly since Fiji's elections in September , which restored a democratically elected government to Fiji for.
Fiji–United States relations
After elections, the United States reinitiated security assistance and lifted restrictions on U. Assistance to Fiji USAID funds regional projects assisting communities in accessing financing, building institutional capacity, and adapting to climate change. The Ready project supports climate finance and management capacity.
The Pacific American Climate Fund PACAM, builds the capacity of small local grantees while supporting their efforts to improve food security and natural resource management. As the largest contributor to the World Bank and, with Japan, to the Asian Development Bank, the United States supports a broad range of economic development and infrastructure programs in the Asia Pacific, including Fiji.
The United States contributes U. Coast Guard and U. Additionally, Fiji is a regular participant in U. The main products imported to the United States from Fiji include bottled water, tuna, and sugar. Fiji and the United States do not have a bilateral investment agreement. I think it is probably just a coincidence that they are happening at the same time.
She is a fairly spirited sort of woman who tends to make overheated, rash statements. These have been overheard and she now will have her day in court. If she was making statements and plotting as are stated in the charges, then she is going to face the legal situation that she has created. Inyour government made a pledge to improve the human rights situation. Almost 18 months later, Human Rights Watch and others continue to publicly admonish Fiji over its human rights record.
When you speak of keeping your promises to the international community, do you feel the government has followed through on its human rights pledge? The lifting of the public emergency regulations has dealt with lot of criticisms related to the freedom of association, freedom of speech, and human rights generally.
So, people will be free to make comments, associate and return to a normal life. Now that the decision has been made to the lifting of the emergency regulations, there is a new platform for reviewing the situation in Fiji. The International Trade Union Confederation has argued that Fiji is prosecuting 'an all-out assault on trade unions in Fiji'. Inthere also were increasing calls for Fiji to restore freedom of the press.
Now that the public emergency regulations have been lifted, do you expect the government's approach toward trade unions and media to change in ? The fact that the public emergency regulations there prevented their meetings and association, so perhaps the criticism was justified. Now, the unions will be free to meet and do whatever they were doing before.
The Media Industry Development Degree continues. There has always been a self-regulated organisation where complaints against media were directed. But, the government felt the issue wasn't being taken seriously enough by that body. The government indicated that, unless that body took its job seriously, they would have to pass legislation. So, that legislation came in when it was felt that claims against the media for exaggeration and incorrect reports were not being taken seriously.
With respect to ownership of the media, many countries have laws which restrict offshore ownership. I don't know that ours is particularly different from standard international practice. Because the Fiji Times was wholly owned by News Corporation, they couldn't satisfy local ownership requirements.
The Fiji Times also was, for a long period, very critical of the government who felt it was not very helpful in getting Fiji moved in a positive direction to get back to elections in the proper state.
If you continue to criticise and print things that are not correct, you keep the collective mentality in an unsettled state.
In the end, the frustration with the ownership and editorial direction of the newspaper meant you had to do something. The process of demilitarisation is not currently addressed in the strategic framework. Is there a timetable for the troops to return to their barracks? When the process gets to the stage of preparing for elections, the need to have the military visible will change.
At the moment, many military officers man positions in the civilian government. I would imagine they would return to their military positions then. Your comments would suggest that there is no timetable to address issues which fall outside of the strategic framework. Given that uncertainty over these issues is fuelling doubts over your government's commitment to democracy, do you feel it is now time to broaden or deepen the strategic framework?
The challenge is there. There will be disbelief; there will be scepticism. In the fulfillment of these objectives and as more are announced, including the constitutional review committee, things will fall into place.
As people see these things moving along, it will incrementally improve relations. The framework was a broad statement with a very long timelines.
Fiji–United States relations - Wikipedia
As time goes on, there will be a need to be more specific and fitting things into the timeline. In terms of giving greater credibility to the process, maybe we need to be more specific on some of those other points. We have talked a lot about whether Fiji needs to do more to demonstrate its commitment. But, as a diplomat, you probably have strong views on how the international community could improve its side of the engagement as well.
What actions can the international community take to encourage Fiji to move forward on the reforms that they are demanding? The government has put out a timetable which it has adhered to, but there remains a certain attitude in the international community. Some in the international community have criticised what the government has done in its pathway back to democracy.
As a consequence, Fiji has looked to other sources for friends and assistance and developed new partnerships and relationships.The true magnitude of Saudi investment in the U.S.
So, I think what has happened over the last five years is that there is a new pattern of relationships which has developed. We have moved away from the traditional ones, which relied on Australia and New Zealand very heavily, as well as the United States and other Western countries to some extent.
We have become more associated with other countries. China has always been there.
- History of the U.S. and Fiji
- U.S. Department of State
- Fiji: A bottle half-empty or half-full?
Japan has been much more assisting. New relationships have developed with Indonesia, India, and other non-aligned movement countries, like the Melanesian Spearhead Group. In some cases, these countries have endorsed what Fiji has done.
In others, they have said, what you do is up to you. They have said that we will continue to provide what assistance where we have in the past and you will sort yourself out in good time.
Whereas the others have said that you have to do this, that, or the other - regardless of whether Fiji thinks that is the right thing to do.
This is the issue with our traditional partners. How then is the current government working to overcome this issue in the run-up to elections?
The government has systematically removed the issue of race out of the whole society and body politic. That has been there since Fiji was a colony. So long as it was there, it compartmentalised the people. You had a communal look in electing officials to whatever office, not just the parliament.
This perpetuated this sense of being separate. Now, all people in Fiji are regarded as a Fijian. Before, this was reserved for just one group of people. The removal of those potential sources of friction has provided a better basis to move on.
Over time, hopefully this will leave people less to feel different about. The government also has followed through on recruitment to public service and into the government on a meritorious, non-racial basis.
It is going to take time. I am sure with time the information collected by our statistics bureau in government will confirm these trends. Fiji is not the only country that is forced to deal with deep ethnic cleavages within its society.
From your perspective, why then do you think that current government is not being recognised for its efforts to bridge the racial divide? It is hard to understand for those familiar with the Fiji situation.
Tensions can boil over very easily when people are not responsible. Our past history shows that irresponsible actions have tipped the situation over. It's a reality that we have to live with. My view is that others tend to look at this very narrowly in their definition of democracy and freedom.
Generally, these attributes have evolved in these countries over many years. They have become entrenched and stabilised and society adheres to them.
France and Fiji Islands
In the developing countries, these values are not as well entrenched. You have to be more careful or they will unravel. There are many examples in which the military leadership elects to stand-down prior to a return to democracy.
There have been calls for similar moves in Fiji. Do you see widespread support within the current government to remove the military from politics prior to the elections and is there a timetable for this process? I am not privy to such talks. That said, the previous coup leader, Sitiveni Rabukadid stand down, became a political figure, stood for elections, and came back in as the prime minister.
In this case, I would imagine that Commodore Bainimarama could follow a similar path. It is clear that some major challenges remain in Fiji's path to democracy.