French Senate hosts Fijian student in Paris.

French Senate hosts Fijian student in Paris.

On Tuesday 25 April in Paris, the Members of the French Senate and Chairperson of the France - Pacific Islands Friendship Inter-Parliamentary group, Mrs Catherine Procaccia, welcomed Miss Aliha Nisha at the Senate, the winner of the Fiji national essay competition organized by the Fijian government to celebrate the Constitution Day last September. On that occasion, the President of the Republic of Fiji called on young people to provide a thorough knowledge of the text and the President also announced that the art and essay competition was organized so that participating students and youths could express their understanding of this text. The prize was an overseas trip in a “country with a deeply ingrained democratic tradition”.

During the recent visit to Fiji of the French Senate Friendship group, from 7 - 12 September last year, Mrs Procaccia announced the possibility of welcoming in France the winner for a visit of the Senate, in Paris.

The visit of Mrs Procacia and three other Senators coincided with the opening of the Fiji Parliament. In his opening speech, the Fijian President welcomed this proposal and emphasized that the motto of the French Republic “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” precisely corresponds to “the values cherished by the Fijians”.

As the winner of the competition in which five thousand candidates took part, Miss Nisha visited France and benefited from a program including a visit of the two Houses of the French Parliament, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Museum of Quai Branly- Jacques Chirac, a major cultural institution which displays many artefacts from the Oceania region, among them many rare Fijian items.

Besides, in December 2016, the Speaker of the Fijian Parliament, Dr Jiko Luveni visited France and the young winner’s trip to Paris reflects the quality of the Franco-Fijian bilateral links as well as the supportive role that can be provided by the Senate and, more precisely, by the Friendship Group to the young Fijian democracy. This is important in the context of the preparation of the next UN Conference on the Oceans (SDG 14) that will take place in New York in June and will be co-chaired by Fiji and Sweden, and in view of COP 23 chaired by Fiji, which will take place in Bonn, Germany for logistical reasons. Germany will cover the local organizational aspects, whereas the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will provide general support to the future Chair for the preparation phase and the conference itself.

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Published on 18/05/2017

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