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Foreign Affairs clears air on Geneva posting

Shalveen Chand
Thursday, May 22, 2014

THE Foreign Affairs Ministry says the position of Fiji's permanent representative to UN in Geneva was advertised in the local media, contrary to claims by the Fiji Labour Party.

FLP assistant general secretary Kini Marawai criticised the appointment of Nazhat Shameem Khan to the post saying the post wasn't advertised and the exercise was a waste of taxpayers money with Fiji already having a representative in New York.

However, Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola said the position was advertised and from the numerous applications received, the government found Mrs Khan to be the best candidate for that position.

"Mrs Khan's wide experience in the civil service, her extensive legal background and expertise make her the most suitable candidate for the type of diplomacy work and advocacy required of Fiji's representative in Geneva," Ratu Inoke said.

"The establishment of the Geneva Mission will enable the ministry to carry out the multitude of work in international organisations in Geneva that are relevant to Fiji's interest.

"Current arrangements have New York and Brussels missions looking after Geneva-based issues, however, due to wider and many plethora issues including those in Geneva such as ILO, government has made the right decision to establish the Geneva Mission."

Ratu Inoke said Geneva was the main European base of the UN, housing 32 international organisations, many of them specialised agencies of the UN including the World Trade Organization, World Health Organization and the International Labour Organization.

"Geneva is also host to some 250 non-governmental organisation partners, most notably the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies," said Ratu Inoke.

"The establishment of Fiji missions abroad is undertaken after careful considerations are made on its respective and unique mandates."

Fiji's mission in Geneva will open on June 2.





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