Ministry Statements & Speeches:
Recalling the commitment made by Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister Hon Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama in February 2020 to formalise progress made in the New Zealand - Republic of Fiji partnership, this Statement sets out the priorities and principles under which the Government of New Zealand and the Government of the Republic of Fiji will cooperate, coordinate and partner in identified areas.
The Statement of Parternship affirms our joint ambition to elevate the relationship to a new level of expanded strategic cooperation in the years to come based on a foundation of shared values and equal partnership and achieved through trust and consultation.
New Zealand and Fiji share a strong kinship that has endured over decades, founded on our shared Pacific culture and identity, mutual respect and friendship, and historical connections. The relationship is further strengthened through the expanding links between our peoples and institutions, the growth of economic and trade flows, and our common interests in the region. We also acknowledge the importance of indigenous cultures and economies in both our countries. This Parternship affirms our shared ambition to use these connections as a basis for strategic cooperation as we work together now and into the future to address the unprecendented economic and social impacts of COVID-19 and climate change amongst other challenges.
We highlight the importance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a shared horizon for our work in order to improve the lives of our peoples and our planet. In this context we acknowledge the inclusice cocio-economic development approach to support Fiji reach its full potential as outlined in Fiji's 5 Year and 20 Year Development Plan, a framewoek for a sustainable and properous future aligned with Fiji's international commitments.
We also acknowledge New Zealand's goal of supporting a safe, stable and resilient Pacific, and the enduring principles that underpin New Zealand's overall engagement in the Pacific region:
- Tātai Hono (The recognition of deep and enduring whakapapa connections)
- Tātou Tātou (All of us together)
- Whāia te Taumata Ōhanga (Journey towards a circular economy)
- Turou Hawaiiki (Navigating together)
- Arongia ki Rangiātea (Focus towards Excellence)
Alongside these principles, we affirm the fundamental shared values at the heart of our partnership, including:
- support for democracy, effective governance, and the rule of law;
- fostering inclusive societies and respecting human rights of all people;
- addressing climate change, enhancing ocean conservation and protecting the environment;
- sustaining our unique cultural heritage;
- mutual respect for our countries' sovereignty; and
- encouraging a stable, secure, and sovereign Pacific region through strong regional and international cooperation.
Priority Areas for Cooperation - Ngā Wāhanga Matua mō te Mahi Ngātahi
Under this Statement of Partnership, New Zealand and Fiji will work together of the period 2022 to 2025 to achieve our goals in the following areas:
- Partnership, democracy and Values
- Fostering the connections created between our peoples and institutions through avenues such as education, cultural, and sports exchanges;
- Pursuing greater understanding and coordination between New Zealand and Fiji on our respective foreign policy priorities;
- Fostering stronger partnerships by facilitating increased information-sharing and people exchanges between New Zealand and Fiji institutions;
- Enhancing accountability, transparency, and high quality delivery in public and democratic institutions through political, regulatory, and administrative reforms, including in the public service, and judicial, parliamentary, and electoral systems;
- Working together with other like-minded partners, and through regional and multilateral institutions, to protect our shared interests and promote coordination and collaboration in areas of commonality;
- Upholding and advocating for the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of all people, including vulnerable communities and minority groups;
- Economic Resilience
- Building economic resilience and a sustainable, inclusive and broad-based economic recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 and climate change. This will be supported by an expanded development programme, and assistance with enabling reforms to catalyse private sector growth and stimulate bilateral trade, investment and tourism;
- Exploring opportunities for closer economic integration bilaterally and within the wider Pacific region and in multilateral fora;
- Growing the economic and development benefits from Fiji's participation in labour mobility, including the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme;
- Promoting sustainable management, inclusive, and resilient green growth, including negotiating trade agreements such as climate change, sustainability and gender;
- Supporting capacity and capability to uphold sovereign authority over our land and maritime territories, borders, and Exclusive Economic Zones, including co-operation to address the common challenges that trans-border security issues such as maritime security and transnational crime pose to our communities;
- Expanding practical bilateral and regional cooperation in defence, policing, border security, cyber security, and intelligence through deeper knowledge sharing and more regular exchanges, and shared training and operation;
- Strengthening the institutional capacity and capability of Fiji's governance bodies, judiciary, defence, and security forces so that the rule of law is consistently upheld;
- Facilitating open dialogue and information exchange on shared security challenges, pursuing our regional concept of security as outlined in the Boe Declaration*;
- Protecting biodiversity and ecosystems, including through effective customs and biosecurity measures;
*This includes human security, humanitarian assistance, and environment security including climate change resilience.
- Social Well-being
- Coordinating preparedness and response to pandemics, including improving access to COVID-19 medical support and infrastructure;
- Enhancing capacity to address the challenge of achieving gender equality, and eliminating violence against women and girls;
- Seeking opportunities to enhance access to higher quality education, health services, and resilient housing, particularly for vulnerable groups;
- Climate change and Disaster Resilience
- Working together as proactive partners through national, regional and international organisations to raise awareness of, and support collective action to combat, climate change;
- Pursuing ambitious efforts to implement our Nationally Determined Contributions in accordance with the Paris Agreement;
- Partnering to address climate change adaption, mitigation, and resilience to minimise adverse effects on the environment and people;
- Continuing to work together effectively to strengthen Fiji's resilience to natural or non-natural disasters and support efforts to address climate induced human mobility;
- Strengthening the institutional capacity of Fiji in the areas of disaster risk management (including preparedness, response, and risk reduction) and recovery from natural or non-natural disasters.
Shared understandings - He Māramatanga Ngātahi
In order to give practical effect to our ambitions, New Zealand and Fiji will hold each other mutually accountable under this Statement of Partnership, ensuring a strong focus on results. To achieve this we will work together:
With the shared understanding that we will:
- Continue to hold annual High Level Officials' Consultations to discuss progress made in the areas set out in this Statement;
- Support frequent high-level bilateral Ministerial visits and consultations on issues of mutual interest, including regular meetings between our Prime Ministers;
- Pursue development activities that are inclusive, resilient, sustainable and effective;
- Coordinate ling-term and predictable development assistance in approved priority areas in line with Fiji's 5 Year and 20 Year Development Plans;
- Be clear about, and accountable for, the work the each of us intends to undertake and the way in which it is delivered, and ensure activities are assessed with regular evidence-based reviews using jointly accepted indicators,
According to the principles of:
- Respect and understanding for our shared values, as well as for our unique cultures and traditions;
- Trust and openness to carefully listen and understand each other's views, including when there are differences of opinion;
- Striving for solutions of mutual benefit when developing domestic and foreign policy, including considering impacts for the wider Pacific region;
- Achieve collection ambition working together for the good of the present and future generations to fund solutions to development, climate and security challenges;
- Seek sustainability by focusing on our long-term goals and promoting greater sovereignty and resilience, and to ensure that we use environmental, financial and human resources wisely.
This Statement of Partnership will take effect on the date of its signature (29 March 2022). Any jointly decided amendment to the priorities, understandings, or principles detailed in this Statement will be recorded in writing.