Monday, 19 January 2009 11:30 PM

Pacific Islands Forum-Fiji Joint Working Group on the Situation in Fiji

PRESS STATEMENT (01/09)19th January 2009AGREED OUTCOMESThe Working Group held its thirty-fifth meeting at the Forum Secretariat Headquarters in Suva on 19 January 2009, attended by senior officials from Australia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tuvalu.

The Working Group reached agreement on revisions to its Terms of Reference, which take into account developments in Fiji since the original Terms of Reference were formulated.

The Working Group noted its discussions to date on the legal issues surrounding implementation of the electoral and Constitutional changes proposed by the Interim Government, and agreed that it would be most appropriate for these issues to be further discussed by Forum Leaders at their upcoming meeting in Port Moresby.

Fiji provided an update to Working Group members on the status of preparations for the proposed political dialogue forum, noting that a return visit by the UN and Commonwealth had been deferred due to Fiji's natural disaster situation, and that the Interim Government had asked those bodies to suggest new dates for the mission.

The Working Group further discussed preparations for the Special Leaders' Retreat to be held in Port Moresby on 27 January 2009.

The Chair expressed to the Fiji delegation, on behalf of the other Working Group members, regret at the expulsion of Working Group member and Acting New Zealand High Commissioner, Ms Caroline McDonald, by the Fiji Interim Government.

The Working Group will hold its next meeting on 12 February 2009.

To view the Revised Terms of Reference, please follow the link below