MPs urged to embrace diversity for Fiji's progress

March 4, 2024 12:43 pm

Speaker of Parliament Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu (left), President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere

President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere has reminded all members of parliament to listen to the voices of the people.

Speaking at the state opening of the parliament this morning, Ratu Wiliame urged the parliamentarians to faithfully embrace with resolve the principles of democracy and humanity as enshrined in the 2013 Constitution.

Ratu Wiliame says we must acknowledge and recognise our differences, however, we must be united with one common goal, to ensure that we live in a progressive and prosperous nation.

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The President says there are two major ethnic communities in Fiji who have always lived in harmony together.

Speaker of Parliament Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu (left), President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere 

However, Ratu Wiliame says it is unfortunate that some unscrupulous politicians continue to instigate mistrust amongst our community for their own political ends.

“This has led to the perception of communal differences within our society. Honourable Members of Parliament, I humbly plead to you all to continue to promote harmony and embrace diversity in our nation.”

Ratu Wiliame reminded all parliamentarians the importance of respectful debate, saying this has an impact on inter-ethnic relations in our different communities.

The President says as leaders, parliamentarians are required to leave aside their differences for the common good of our people.

President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere

He says we must focus on shared destiny and commonality, rather than our small differences.

During his opening speech, Ratu Wiliame also spoke about the Coalition Government’s Progressive Agenda and Legislative Programme.

The President says a major priority for the government this year is the formulation of a new National Development Plan that will set their collective vision and key initiatives to will allow the nation to grow sustainably in the short and medium term.

“The key fundamental of Government’s Development Agenda is inclusive development to improve the well-being of our citizens. Nationwide consultations are currently underway and I am encouraged by the participation from our communities.”

Ratu Wiliame says it is anticipated that the plan will be finalised in June before the Budget announcement.