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Fiji Ready to Particiapate in Melanesian Cultural Festival in Kupang in October

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Fiji's Minister of Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kabuabola - fijisun.com

Fiji’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kabuabola – fijisun.com

Jayapura, Jubi – Fiji has confirmed its participation in the Melanesian Cultural Festival to be held from 26-30 October in Kupang.

First Meeting of Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) at the level of Minister of Foreign Affairs has been held in Suva, Fiji (1/9/2015). The Indonesian Delegation was led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno L.P. Marsudi while the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kabuabola. The meeting was the follow up action of Development Cooperation Agreement signed in 2011.

JCM is aimed to improve the bilateral partnership between two countries, in particular in economic. “For Indonesia, Fiji is one of important country, not only for the partnership in economic, but also in democracy and security and regional stability,” the Minister Retno L.P Marsudi stated in official site Kemenlu.co.id on Tuesday (1/9/2015).

Both countries agreed to keep improving the economic partnership by pushing the intensity of business to business partnership. In the context of trading, some products are potential to be improved, such as light-steel construction, farming and fishing equipment spare parts. “The Indonesian Government has paved way for Indonesian products in Fiji, including by the implementation of cooperation in capacity building on fishery and farming sectors. This is expected could be applied by private sector to develop the export to Fiji,” she said.

Indonesian trading with Fiji is one of the huge businesses in this Pasific Islands country (USD 25.27) with the surplus was on the Indonesian side. Indonesia’s export stands in Fiji are including bus chassis, food products, garment and paper.

Despite the economical issue, the meeting also discussed about several issues related to democracy, good governance, security and regional stability.The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Fiji on that occasion emphasized the commitment of Fiji to continue to support the regional integrity of the Republic of Indonesia.

Both ministers also discussed about the cooperation in peacekeeping. In this term, Indonesia expressed its readiness to provide training fro Fiji by using the facility of Indonesian peacekeeping at Sentul. The Delegation of Fiji also participated in the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference for Peacekeeping that was held in Jakarta in August 2015.

Both countries also agreed to develop the partnership in farming, fisheries, small and medium enterprise, youth and sport as well as woman empowerment.

Fiji is a country that uses a lot of scholarships offered by the Government of Indonesia, up to now there are 542 awardees. The cooperation in education and training is believed to contribute to closer relation between two countries.

Further, Indonesia and Fiji has had an agreement of visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders. Currently both countries are discussing about the possibility of visa exemption for shot visit for regular passport holders.

As part of JMC meeting agenda, the Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defense of Fiji will witness the signing of MoU on Cooperation in Combatting Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs on 2 September 2015. The MoU is aimed to improve the partnership between two countries in information exchange, capacity building, training and exchange visit of experts. The second minister level of bilateral meeting of both countries will be held in the second semester in 2016. (Dominggus Mampioper/rom)

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Will Solomon Islands change its position on West Papua case?

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Solomon officials who visit West Papua on April 2018 – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi/RNZI – A leading foreign affairs official from the Solomon Islands government says it’s now seeing a balanced picture on Indonesia’s Papua region.

The government is consulting with the provinces as it formulates an official position on West Papuan human rights and self-determination issues.

Consultations follow a visit by a Solomons government-led delegation to Indonesia’s provinces of Papua and West Papua at the invitation of Jakarta.

The Solomons’ Special Secretary on Foreign Relations, Rence Sore, was one of the government officials in the delegation.

He said the visit was aimed at achieving a balanced picture of what’s going on in Papua.

“Before we went we had been listening to the other side of the story. And the story we heard, we were always hearing at that time, was there’s always human rights abuse, there’s always fighting for independence, someone is being killed and all that. It’s one-sided, all one-sided.”

Rence Sore said that when they went to Papua region, the story was entirely different.

He said that for now the government had yet to decide on its official position regarding West Papua and Papua provinces.

“We’re trying to give the government a good picture. Both sides of the coin we have to tell the government, and the government independently makes that policy decision.”

The delegation’s visit and resulting report were indications that the Solomon Islands government, under prime minister Rick Hou, was approaching a different stand on Papua to that of the previous prime minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Mr Sogavare, who is now the deputy prime minister, campaigned internationally about West Papuan human rights issues. He was also supportive of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, and instrumental in its admission to the Melanesian Spearhead Group in 2015.

The Liberation Movement, which Indonesia’s government opposes, last month voiced disappointment that it wasn’t notified by Solomon Islands about the delegation’s visit.

Mr Sore, who said his government consulted with Indonesian authorities for the visit, noted the Liberation Movement’s strong connections with civil society organisations in Solomon Islands.

“And to some extent, that strong connection also was with the previous Solomon Islands leadership, government, prime minister.

“We went (to Indonesia) with authorisation from the current prime minister, and official authorities were notified.

However Mr Sore would not be drawn on whether the Hou-led government had shifted position on Papua.

“That decision is not yet formal. It depends entirely on the report. We did a report when we came back, and we are still doing the consultations on the policy. That policy will go through the government cabinet.”

Regarding that visit, The Solomon Star reports Development Service Exchange (DSE) spokesperson Jennifer Wate made the comment while rejecting any involvement in the trip.

This is despite DSE chairperson, Inia Barry, being among several from civil society organisations who went along on the visit which was hosted by Indonesia.

Ms Wate said her organisation had found out about the trip the evening before the delegation‘s departure for West Papua.

The DSE did not endorse Mr Barry or any of the other civil society representatives who took part in the West Papua visit, she said

Ms Wate maintained her organisation was not aware of any details of the trip or its terms of reference and she called on the Solomon Islands government in the future to formally approach the DSE on matters that required civil sector representation.

Ms Wate also admonished the government for not informing civil society groups in West Papua ahead of their trip. (*)

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WEST PAPUA SOLIDARITY FOR EARTHQUAKE DISASTER IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

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West Papua visit lacked transparency says Solomons group

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Downtown Jayapura – RNZ / Koroi Hawkins

There should have been more transparency around a government-led delegation’s visit to West Papua last month, a leader of Solomon Islands civil society says.

The Solomon Star reports Development Service Exchange (DSE) spokesperson Jennifer Wate made the comment while rejecting any involvement in the trip.

This is despite DSE chairperson, Inia Barry, being among several from civil society organisations who went along on the visit which was hosted by Indonesia.

Ms Wate said her organisation had found out about the trip the evening before the delegation’s departure for West Papua.

The DSE did not endorse Mr Barry or any of the other civil society representatives who took part in the West Papua visit, she said

Ms Wate maintained her organisation was not aware of any details of the trip or its terms of reference and she called on the Solomon Islands government in the future to formally approach the DSE on matters that required civil sector representation.

Ms Wate also admonished the government for not informing civil society groups in West Papua ahead of their trip. (*)

 

Source: Radio NZ

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