Wednesday, December 19, 2012

G77 Group Executive Secretary's Press Conference on Fiji.

Press Conference at Fiji Government Building by Mr Mourad Ahmia - Executive Secretary of G77 Group, the largest group of nations within the U.N. Mr Ahmia touched on the changing leadership and the 2013 agenda of the group. Ahmia further expressed confidence in Fiji in chairing the group and pledged his support. (Video posted below)

Fiji's Permanent Representative to the U.N, Peter Thompson addressed the Press Conference and outlined some background and explained the genesis of Fiji's decision to chair the G77 group. (Video posted below)

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Saturday, December 08, 2012

Not Just Ayes and Nays-Pacific Island Votes in UN Resolution on Palestine.

The recent UN resolution to accord Palestine a Non member Observer status and the results of the vote in the UN General Assembly has been widely reported. The votes of Pacific Island nations at the UN General Assembly were dispersed between the votes- in favor, against and abstentions from the resolution; undoubtedly outcomes derived from the political calculus determined at their various capitals.

The Pacific 4 were reported to have been personally thanked by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu according to a PINA article. Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Yigal Palmor outlined the lines of diplomatic tact and estimation:
“Voting at the UN General Assembly is always the result of complex and intricate sets of pressures and interests. Whoever takes a country’s vote at face value and thinks that a vote accurately reflects a country’s true opinion on the issue at hand doesn’t know much about international diplomacy.”
Australia's surprising decision to abstain, was dissected in an opinion post by Daniel Flitton.

However, the rest of the smaller Pacific island nations have other factors to consider. New Zealand, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu voted in favor. Voting against were Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru and Palau. Abstaining Pacific island states were Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.
Equally interesting was the fact that, Israel's Non-Resident Ambassador to the Pacific region, Michael Ronen had admitted to spending a lot of time lobbying in the Pacific region, prior to the the resolution vote and under girds how the region is being wooed for votes in the UN General Assembly. 

Post resolution vote, Israel appears to be doubling down in the Pacific Aid programs. Israel's Non-Resident Ambassador to the Pacific, Ronen recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Suva, with the multi-nation funded University of the South Pacific, to cooperate in areas of Agribusiness Development, Public Health and Women's Empowerment over a period of 3 years.

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