11 Jul 2002

Savua appointment as Fiji's UN Ambassador still held up

4:57 pm on 11 July 2002

There is strong speculation in Fiji that the appointment of its new ambassador to the United Nations, Colonel Isikia Savua, is being purposely delayed by one of the five permanent members of the Security Council.

The Fiji Sun newspaper says it is believed that the delay has to do with the Fiji government's non-compliance with the Appeal Court ruling on the full requirements of the 1997 Constitution and its human rights record.

Col Savua's nomination was forwarded to the United Nations many months ago but no word has come through approving it.

The Sun quotes a former senior civil servant and diplomat as saying that all it takes is for just a member of the Security Council, who all have veto powers, to veto or show disapproval for the appointment and it will be put on hold.

The former diplomat says the same could be the case with the appointment of Fiji's new high commissioner to London, Ratu Tu'akitau Cokanauto.

Ratu Tu'akitau, a member of the post-coup adminstration and Bau high chief, is still awaiting clearance from the British Foreign Office before taking up his posting.

The diplomat is quoted as linking the names of the two prospective diplomats to their alleged involvement in the May 2000 coup for the delay in their appointments.