23 Jan 2013

Fiji G77 chairmanship a boost for Suva, says academic

2:35 pm on 23 January 2013

A New Zealand academic says Fiji assuming the role of chair of the G77 enhances its international standing.

Fiji's interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, last week assumed the chairmanship of the G77 plus China from Algeria.

The group is made up of 132 developing countries, and works at the United Nations to promote their collective economic interests.

A senior fellow at the Centre for Strategic Studies at Victoria University, Terence O'Brien, says there is a tendency for more powerful countries to dismiss the G77, but it is an important group.

"This is the first ever Pacific island nation to have achieved that sort of status in the international machinery, and I think from the Fijians' point of view it is an accomplishment, even if there is some disposition in some quarters to dismiss it all as meaningless. It's not meaningless."

Terence O'Brien says the government will consider the international recognition to be helpful in terms of the direction it is trying to point Fiji in.