Pacific misses out

FIJI and the Pacific will be able to communicate their maritime challenges internationally by ratifying the eight International Maritime Organisation conventions being heard before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence.

Speaking following their submissions to the committee yesterday, Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji acting chief executive officer John Tunidau said Fiji’s presence was missing in many international conventions that affected us because they had not been ratified.

“By ratifying all the conventions, we have all the right to be present in these forums to address issues that will be coming up from time to time with the amendments of the convention,” Mr Tunidau said.

“Otherwise, when the convention comes out, it is reflecting what the developed States want, they are actually voicing their opinion while we are missing out here in the Pacific.

“That is one of the major things that the Government is doing, having our voice heard in these major forums.

“So Fiji has a voice in there, it states its views on the conventions that will come out. Otherwise, we will miss out because the developed countries are all members of these international forums.”

He said the International Mobile Satellite Organisation (IMSO) convention was one such example.

By ratifying the IMSO convention, countries become members of the organisation whose primary purpose is the oversight of certain public satellite safety and security communication services provided by mobile satellite communication systems.

“IMSO sets the charges and for services like the Global Maritime Distress and Safety Signals, so we have a say in those things by ratifying the conventions.

“With our ratification of the IMSO convention, we have a say into what kind of services we want, since we will also be networked with international organisations and our international counterparts.”

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