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Fiji Time: 4:24 AM on Wednesday 24 September

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Vunibobo faces challenging task defending Fiji's regime

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Update: 3.59pm Fiji's newly-appointed permanent representative to the United Nations Berenado Vunibobo will have to vigorously defend the interim Government, says his forerunner Isikia Savua.

Savua told fijilive.com that Fiji's critics at the UN posed the biggest challenge to Vunibobo, a seasoned diplomat who has already served as a country representative to the UN office in New York from 1976 1980.

Mr Savua suggests that compared to then, times a now tough for Fiji following the four coups of 1987-2006.

"The main challenge especially now would be defending Fiji. Therell be a lot of people who we are to cut into," he said.

Countries to watch out for are Australia and New Zealand.

"You got to be careful. You have to send people out into meetings where you think Fiji may be mentioned.

"Secondly, there will be talk to remove Fiji from participating at the UN peacekeeping operations that always comes up," he said.

However, Savua is confident that Fiji will not lose its standing with the UN, believing that the UN owes Fiji for its support in the Iraq campaign.

"When Iraq came up we were the only country that volunteered to send troops there," he said.

"We were the only ones. (I was ambassador then). And the UN will not forget that."

Savua returned to Fiji prior to the December 2006 coup after serving at the UN office since 2003.

Vunibobo is expected to travel to New York at the end of this month to fill the vacancy.


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