20 Apr 2007

European Union gains concessions from Fiji interim administration

9:26 am on 20 April 2007

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The European Union says Fiji's interim administration has made wide ranging commitments including the lifting of the Public Emergency Regulations by next month.

The Fiji Times reports that these include a commitment by Fiji to have consultations with all stakeholders including civil society when adopting major legislative, fiscal and other policy initiatives and changes.

The interim administration is also reported to have agreed to try to prevent statements by security agencies that intimidate and to fully respect the independence of the judiciary and to ensure that its rulings are respected by all concerned.

The EU says Fiji authorities have agreed that all criminal proceedings linked to corruption will be dealt with through judicial channels and that any other bodies set up to investigate alleged corruption will operate within constitutional boundaries.

Fiji has also agreed to facilitate investigations into all human rights abuses, and respect freedom of expression and freedom of the media.

The EU says Fiji has agreed to maintain regular dialogue to allow verification of the progress made and to give the EU full access to information on all matters linked to human rights, the peaceful restoration of democracy and the rule of law in Fiji.

Fiji will submit progress reports every three months starting on June 30 regarding essential elements of the Cotonou Agreement and the commitments.

The Fiji delegation in Brussels comprises the interim minister for foreign affairs, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, the interim minister of finance, Mahendra Chaudhry, and the interim attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khayum.