New Zealand and Fiji held virtual talks today, in which Fiji’s Permanent Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and Acting Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Mr Yogesh Karan and the New Zealand Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade Mr Chris Seed discussed the effects of COVID-19 on the economy and respective health responses; global and regional challenges; development and security cooperation; and the outlook for the countries’ relationship.
The meeting was attended by senior officials of the Fijian Government and the New Zealand Government and representatives of the New Zealand High Commission in Suva and Fiji High Commission in Wellington. Addressing the officials at the consultations, Permanent Secretary Karan emphasised the importance of this meeting in enhancing the bilateral relationship between Fiji and New Zealand.
“Fiji is committed to strengthening its partnership with New Zealand, and commends New Zealand for its continuous support and assistance to Fiji through their development cooperation program.” Permanent Secretary Karan said the high level consultation therefore is timely as it provided opportunity for both countries to discuss their priorities in economic recovery and procurement of COVID-19 vaccine.
At the consultations New Zealand committed to supporting Fiji over the next three years in a variety of fields, including: strengthening governance, democracy and values; supporting social wellbeing, particularly for those most vulnerable; developing a stronger and more resilient economy; and committing to ongoing security cooperation, including through police and defence partnerships.
Mr Seed said, “Underlying the discussions was an appreciation of the deep and historical connections between Fiji and New Zealand and a desire to promote higher levels of cooperation and partnership.”
A detailed Statement of Partnership between New Zealand and Fiji will be formally agreed later this year, which aims to elevate the relationship to a new level of strategic cooperation, trust, and consultation based on a foundation of shared values and equal partnership.