Fiji today marked 50 years of its membership in the United Nations (UN). In a specially organised commemorative event, the Office of the President in collaboration with the Fiji’s Permanent Mission in New York, marked 50 years of Fiji’s remarkable engagement with the United Nations, since 13th of October 1970.
In a virtual reception held this morning at the State House, the Fijian President Major-General (Ret'd) Jioji Konusi Konrote conveyed Fiji’s statement to commemorate the 50 years of Fiji’s work in the United Nations.
President Konrote expressed Fiji’s appreciation to the UN senior officials and the diplomatic and consular representatives for their tremendous contributions to the UN and for advancing Fiji’s interests at the United Nations.
He stated that Fiji is one of the first Pacific island states to become a member of the United Nations, as it welcomed 11 more Pacific island states, building a regional voice in the global community. 
Joining President Konrote at this virtual meeting was Republic of Fiji Military Forces Commander Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto, Acting Commissioner of Police, Mr. Rusiate Tudravu, UN Resident Coordinator Mr. Sanaka Samarasinha, and officials from the Office of the President and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Also joining the virtual reception from New York was Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Ambassador Satyendra Prasad who was joined by Mr Jean- Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr Atul Khare, Under-Secretary-General for Department of Operational Support and Mrs Fekitamoeloa Katoa, Under Secretary General for Landlocked and Small Island Developing States and UN Special Envoy for the Ocean, Mr. Peter Thomson and Fiji’s Trade Commissioner to North America, Mr Praneet K. Singh. 
President Konrote reflected on Fiji’s unprecedented commitment in supporting the UN to deliver global mandate on peacekeeping, climate change and human rights. He paid tribute to all the Fijian peacekeepers and Fijians who had served in the United Nations peacekeeping missions that contributed  to building 50 years of strong relations with the UN.
“For a full 41 years, not a day has passed when our peacekeepers were not on duty in one conflict area or another. Thousands of brave Republic of Fiji Military Force members and police have served, and 66 of our brave men have lost their lives in this national mission, and to them and their families we all owe our gratitude, our deepest respect and our heartfelt prayers.
“There are many people in this world who thank and remember the men in uniform from an island nation far away who helped heal their war-torn country. They are from the Middle East—from Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt; from Iraq, Libya and Yemen. They are from Timor-Letse, closer to home. They are from Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina. They are from Namibia, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Liberia in Africa. And they share a common experience: Their lives were touched, and made better, and in some cases even saved, by Fijian peacekeepers,” President Konrote told the UN officials.
President Konrote said that Fiji will continue with the momentum on climate change and in calling for the global community to take serious and assertive action to reduce the carbon emissions.
In reaffirming Fiji’s commitment and support for the UN, President Konrote said, “Fiji’s rising star on the world stage is not owed to luck. We earned it. We are a strong people, we know who we are as a nation. We are a people who hold an age-old connection to our natural world. We are courageous and optimistic. We have skills to contribute. We have experiences to share. And we have the will to help make this world a better place.
“We are a part of a huge, complex world. It may seem sometimes that the UN reflects that complexity—that it moves slowly, that its actions can be watered down by the need for consensus. But can we imagine a world without the United Nations? No. And can we imagine a United Nations without Fiji? No. And that is one reason why we will be counting even more Fijian contributions to the world through the UN in 50 years’ time,” President Konrote said.
As part of today’s program, President Konrote also formerly declared the official opening of new office space for Fiji’s New York Mission.