The achievements of the United Nations Association of Fiji (UNAF) in empowering Fiji’s youth to pursue their career aspirations as diplomats has been commended by the Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Fiji MFA). 

In a recent collaboration, the UNAF and Fiji MFA jointly coordinated the 2020 Graduation ceremony for 19 students from both secondary schools and tertiary institutions who were presented with certificates to recognise the art and skills on diplomacy, they have acquired through the Basic Diplomacy Training Programme.

The Diplomatic Training 2020 graduation program was held at Fiji MFA Headquarters in Suva on Saturday 21st November, 2020. 

The graduates have been trained with skills in preparing speeches and presenting in multilateral forums, preparing draft resolutions, negotiating with allies and adversaries, resolving conflicts and navigating through rules of procedure and understanding the dynamics of the international community on peace and security, human rights, the environment, climate change, economic development, and globalization. 

Speaking at the UNAF graduation program, Fiji’s Roving Ambassador Mr Amena Yauvoli congratulated the graduates for their commitment in completing the course and encouraged them to continue working hard to pursue their career in diplomacy.  

Whilst reflecting on his vast experience in diplomacy, Mr Yauvoli said that diplomats have an important responsibility when it comes to advancing the interests of their countries.

He said diplomacy is an art that is essential in strengthening the bilateral and multilateral relations of a country amongst the world. 

Mr Yauvoli said that working in dignity to promote the national interests of one’s country is the key step towards building relationships which is based on mutual respect, understanding and recognition.

He said it’s proud to see that a nation like Fiji as being a small island state, punching above its weight at the international stage and Fiji is at the forefront in leading negotiations on important global issues of climate change, human rights, UN peacekeeping to name a few. 

Ambassador Yauvoli commended the work of UNAF for its vision and commitment in promoting platforms for diplomacy training and its work towards community development and nation building.

President of United Nations Association of Fiji (UNAF) Mr Akmal Ali expressed his appreciation to the Fijian Government for its remarkable support towards this initiative and he stated that UNAF is working closely with Fiji MFA to enhance the existing areas of collaboration. 

“I am truly grateful to the Fijian Government for its support through the Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs for making such an opportunity for this group of 19 graduates who have successfully completed Level 1 Basic Diplomacy Training Programme of UNAF.

This is a real encouragement to these 19 Youths of Fiji. Special thanks also to the Chief Guest of the graduation program, Ambassador Mr. Amena Yauvoli for his inspiring message conveyed to the graduates. “We are currently trying to reach the status of the leading policy voice on multilateralism in Fiji, our work currently is framed by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the UN to guide the international community until 2030.         

“Our programs and activities celebrate diversity, empathy-based learning, and solution-seeking opportunities on shared challenges with human rights-based approaches as the backbone. We are dedicated to promoting constructive participation in the United Nations and elevating the principles of the UN Charter.

Our area of work involves the issues affecting Fijians and the Pacific Islanders, such as climate change, nuclear testing, and its effects and equal citizenry and so forth. 

“The major achievements of UNAF have been from 2015 approximately 250 to 300 participants have gone through the trainings, this number includes the current graduates.

We have seen our graduates become young diplomats who have successfully participated in local and international conferences such as the International Civil Society Week 2017, ADB Meeting 2019, CAPP 2019, to name a few,” Mr Ali stated. In sharing his experience, one of the graduates, Mr Prasit Narayan said the skills and confidence gained through the training complements his professional and personal development. Every little encounter and experience gained here at UNAF has been enriching and will remain within my memories for life.

Each and everyone of us has something unique to offer to this diverse learning community. So let’s use the teachings we’ve got from here and make our communities and the Nation a better place to live in,” Mr Narayan said. 

UNAF was founded on 19th May 2015 and it is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that exists to enhance the relationship between the people of Fiji and the United Nations to raise public awareness on the UN and its work, to promote the general goals of the UN. The Vision of UNAF is valuable, capable, and knowledgeable members in a prosperous and sustainable Fiji. 

The Mission of this organization is to promote, facilitate, and assist in the development of members in terms of International and Global Diplomacy. 

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