PRIME MINISTER WELCOMES FIJI'S RETURN TO COMMONWEALTH

  • Jim Bolger
Prime Minister

Prime Minister Jim Bolger today welcomed the news that Fiji would be readmitted to the Commonwealth from 1 October this year.

"I am delighted that Fiji is to rejoin the fold. The clear consensus of Commonwealth members was that Fiji should return to the association" Mr Bolger said.

Earlier this year Commonwealth Secretary General Chief Emeka Anyaoku wrote to all member countries seeking their views on Fiji's possible return. This was in response to a joint letter of application for readmission from Fiji Prime Minister Rabuka and Leader of the Opposition Jai Ram Reddy.

Fiji's membership of the Commonwealth lapsed in 1987 when it became a republic and the Governor General resigned.

Mr Bolger said New Zealand was satisfied that Fiji's new Constitution was compatible with the Harare Declaration and had written back to Secretary General Anyaoku stating New Zealand's support for Fiji's application.

The principles of the Harare Declaration relating to democracy and respect for fundamental human rights are regarded as a necessary attribute for Commonwealth membership.

"I look forward to seeing Fiji back at the table when Commonwealth Heads of Government meet in Edinburgh next month" Mr Bolger said.