Fiji does more for UN than we do

36th Parallel

Selwyn Manning has written a story fro 36th Parallel about Fiji and its increased commitment to the UN that shows Fiji’s government deploys more personnel to UN Operations than Australia, Canada, and NZ combined. It makes a mockery of our continued failing policies toward Fiji.

Fiji continues to pull its weight in the international community despite attempts by Australia and New Zealand to interfere. We should be looking at ways of positively engaging with Fiji rather than continually slamming the door in their face.

It is clear that the rest of the international community, especially China doesn’t give a tinkers cuss about what form of governance exists in Fiji. All that is achieved by our continuing with the failed “smart” sanctions is the easing of Fiji into the arms of China.

Fiji has shown though that bullying from the big boys of the Pacific region can be safely ignored. I’m not sure that does our country any credit whatsoever.

Since the 2006 Fiji coup Commodore Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama’s military-led government has remained fully engaged with the United Nations while incrementally increasing the number of troops and police it contributes to UN peacekeeping operations to record levels.

United Nations records show, that in the past year alone, Fiji has increased by 29 percent the number of Fiji military and police personnel deployed to UN operations. Between April 2011 and May 2012, Fiji also contributed more peacekeepers to UN operations than Australia, Canada and New Zealand combined.

A UN Mission’s Summary report obtained by 36th Parallel shows that on May 31 2012 Fiji had deployed 359 soldiers and/or police to UN operations. This same report showed Australia had contributed 112 personnel, Canada 158, and New Zealand 24 personnel.

The comparative report for April 30 2011 showed Fiji had deployed 278 soldiers and/or police to UN operations. That snapshot report showed Australia had contributed 109 personnel, Canada 213, and New Zealand 24 personnel.

The data shows that the governments of Australia and New Zealand have not impeded the participation of Fijian troops in UN peace-keeping operations in spite of their public calls to that effect, and in fact have not impeded a rise in the number of Fiji troops being deployed to United Nations operations since the December 2006 military coup.

Despite Fiji’s military being warned by the United Nations secretariat in November 2006 that if it conducted a coup, overthrew its government, and installed a military-led regime, then its contribution to UN-led operations would be reduced or suspended, the United Nations increased the number of Fiji personnel deployed in the immediate post-coup period.

That trend has increased in the six years since.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.