12 Jul 2007

UN won't bow to Anzac pressure on Fiji, says academic

3:40 pm on 12 July 2007

An Australia-based Fiji academic says the United Nations will not bow to pressure from Australia and New Zealand against Fiji.

Radio Legend reports that Dr Brij Lal was referring to moves by the two countries to have Fiji troops excluded from UN peacekeeping duties and to block the appointment of Fiji's new ambassador designate to the UN, Lt Col Mason Smith.

Dr Lal says the UN is guided by its own mission, its own agenda and its own responsibilities and undertakings.

He says representations against employing Fiji soldiers were made to the UN in the past in 1987 but the UN did not buy that argument because of its peacekeeping obligations around he world.

Dr Lal says any pressure from Australia and New Zealand or the Bush administration is not likely to bear fruit.

The interim prime minister, Commodore Bainimarama, had indicated earlier that Col Smith was being sent to New York to counter moves by the New Zealand prime minister, Helen Clark, to have Fiji troops thrown out of UN peacekeeping operations