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Party objects to ambassador's UN appointment

Shalveen Chand
Monday, May 19, 2014

THE appointment of former judge Nazhat Shameem as Fiji's permanent representative to the United Nations to be based in Geneva has not been taken well by the Fiji Labour Party.

In a statement issued yesterday FLP's assistant secretary-general, Kini Marawai said the position was not advertised.

"It seems that Mrs Shameem was hand-picked by the prime minister ahead of many senior career officers in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the public service generally," he said.

The FLP statement claimed that Mrs Shameem was appointed as government's legal consultant on a very lucrative remuneration package which had not been disclosed to the public.

Mr Marawai said the prime minister must explain why Mrs Shameem was appointed ahead of other deserving officers in the service and why the position was not advertised.

He also questioned the need for the creation of yet another diplomatic post when Fiji already has a permanent representative to the UN based in New York.

"This is totally unnecessary and additional burden on the taxpayer just like the recently opened Fiji mission in Abu Dhabi.

"The Fiji Embassy in Brussels has the capacity to handle whatever additional work is required," said Mr Marawai.

When contacted yesterday, Mrs Shameem said she was unaware of FLP's comments and said the Foreign Affairs Ministry would respond to this.

No comment could be obtained from the Foreign Affairs Ministry yesterday.

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