Saturday 18 Aug 2018 | 08:36 | SYDNEY
Saturday 18 Aug 2018 | 08:36 | SYDNEY

Fiji: A hint of progress?


Jenny Hayward-Jones


21 August 2009 11:00

It seems Fiji's interim Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, is serious about implementing his Strategic Framework for Change.  He has created a new department to guide the implementation of the framework and 'facilitate consensus building through nation-wide reconciliation and dialogue.'

To address concerns that a new department would create costs at a time when Fiji's public sector is shedding staff, the Fiji Government says the costs will be absorbed by phasing out three other units from the Ministry of National Planning.

The disappearance of the National People’s Charter Council is understandable as the Strategic Framework promises to promote the Charter. There may be no need for a Public Relations Media Team while government censors occupy the editorial offices of all media outlets in Fiji.  But phasing out the Good Governance Unit, whatever its role in the current environment in Fiji, sends a rather unfortunate signal from the military leader who launched his coup in December 2006 with the intention of improving good governance. 

The good news, however, is the reference to reconciliation and dialogue. If the new department is supported and resourced to conduct genuine dialogue, this might just be an indication of some forward rather than backward movement in Fiji.

Photo by Flickr user Hertzahaeon, used under a Creative Commons license.