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Fiji Time: 10:59 AM on Thursday 24 April

/ Front page / Editorial Comment

Positive UN stance

Fred Wesley
Thursday, April 24, 2014

THE fact that the United Nations has expressed joy at Fiji's efforts to return to parliamentary democracy by September is a significant turn of events.

Considering the revelation that the UN is willing to help where necessary, but would wait for the government to make a request, there is bound to be a sense of appreciation on the part of many Fijians.

Obviously there will be acknowledgement of this offer of assistance.

Coming from the UN, the offer is special. We enjoy very strong links with the UN.

Thousands of our men and women have served on UN missions in conflict zones around the world.

Our soldiers are a very strong part of the UN mission in the Middle East.

Our policemen and women have also gone on UN missions abroad.

Fiji's permanent representative to the United Nations, Peter Thomson pointed out yesterday, "As far as the UN is concerned — the Fiji Government's attitude and certainly my attitude as the permanent representative has been that all our rights and responsibilities have been intact throughout this period in which Fiji has been going through its reforms."

"Obviously everybody is very glad to observe the Fiji roadmap was very closely followed all the way through and elections are now coming up in September as promised.

"So the mood generally at the UN is one of great satisfaction that Fiji is about to have its elections."

This latest endorsement of the processes leading up to our planned elections in September comes in the wake of support shown by Australia and New Zealand.

The two countries recently relaxed sanctions against Fiji. There was also praise for the process and systems in place.

What we have now is a very healthy scenario with all systems pointing at September 17.

As Mr Thomson pointed out, "from our perspective in New York everything is being done the right way".

We have the mechanics in place.

We have political parties that are contesting the elections.

We have an Electoral Commission in place and we have a Supervisor of Elections.

And most importantly, we have a date set aside for the elections.

The show of support by the UN will no doubt boost efforts to ensure as many people as possible have a say in the future direction of our nation.

The onus now is on us as individuals to be well informed in the lead up to the polls.