The government of Fiji has been actively reviewing its implementation of the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (UNPoA) and its position on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). In the past year Fiji’s Ministry of Defence has been working with PSAAG to identify gaps and possible ways to improve the country’s arms control system. Fiji has participated in PSAAG’s sub-regional workshop on the UN mechanisms in Vanuatu with the Melanesian Spearhead Group, an Asia-Pacific workshop on the ATT in Cambodia organised by PSAAG, alongside Non-Violence International and Control Arms and attended the First ATT Conference of State Parties.
As an outcome of these meetings, it was identified that an additional national-level workshop was required to coordinate interagency discussion on the current arms control system in Fiji. With UNSCAR funds received by PSAAG, the Ministry of Defence and PSAAG held a three-day national workshop in Fiji. Over 30 representatives from Fiji’s Military Forces, Police, Customs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Correctional Services attended the workshop. Civil society was also represented including two PSAAG members who presented on ISACS and the link between ATT and gender issues.
The workshop successfully completed Fiji’s draft UNPoA report, Fiji’s ATT Baseline Survey and produced an Outcome Document which will be presented to parliament recommending Fiji’s ratification of the ATT. A number of gaps in the current system was identified as were next steps. PSAAG will continue to work with Fiji to facilitate assistance to fill the identified gaps