Ministry to look into national security structure

Minister for Defence,National Security and Foreign Affairs Inia Seruiratu (right) with member of parliament Rohit Ritesh Sharma during a parliament sitting break. Picture: RAMA/FT FILE

MINISTER for Defence and National Security Inia Seruiratu has assured Parliament they were looking at the national security structure that we have against the environment that we are in.

While speaking during the debate of the Report on Fiji Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Annual Report 2016 in Parliament, Mr Seruiratu said one of their major concerns was the transfer of funds and its link to Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF).

“Of course, there are some gaps, priorities that we need to look into but in terms of, particularly with the FIU, and if I may link this to one of the meetings that I had while in New York last week, with the Office of the Directorate of Counter-Terrorism,” he said.

“We have extended an invitation to the Directorate’s Office, for them to come to Fiji and again, look at the setup that we have so that we can ensure that our national security arrangements are, of course, consistent with the challenges that we are currently facing and, of course, the development trends as well because we need national security for economic security and likewise, we need economic security for national security as well.”

This, he said, was why they were working very closely with all the national security agencies.

“Particularly, taking not only a whole of the government approach now, but in terms of security for the future, it is the whole of the nation approach, it is the whole of society approach, it is no longer the whole of government approach, and that is the way forward for all of us,” Mr Seruiratu said.

“That is why we need to break the barriers, the compartmentalisation that used to exist because we are in different times and, of course, the challenges that come with it are different as well and we need to adjust quickly.”

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