Predictable fodder today from Voreqe Bainimarama in his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Bainimarama stuck to safe subjects in his speech, focusing on foreign policy and the establishment of new laws to modernize and liberalize the country.
Little was said of a return to democracy or elections in 2014, the backbone of previous addresses.
He instead focused on his new strategic direction in foreign relations, telling world eaders that Fiji was exploring opportunities outside of its previous political alignments.
Bainimarama justified the change of direction by saying: “Over the past year, the Fiji government has effected a number of legal changes that have not only modernized our laws and brought about gender and social parity, but has also ensured compliance with international conventions. These changes include but are not limited to the Crimes Decree, which removes archaic rules in respect of rape trials.
"We have implemented for the first time a comprehensive law against domestic violence to be consistent with our international obligations and protect the welfare of women and children. We now have child welfare laws which compel the reporting of violence against children or suspicion of abuse of minors.”
He claimed that Fiji could achieve these objectives, nor have actual implementation of these noble principles, if it simply fell into predetermined political spheres of influence or have predetermined alignments.
He claimed the shift in foreign policy direction heralds the globalization and maturity of Fiji and demonstrates Fiji's intention to become a good and engaged global citizen.
Bainimarama argued Fiji's commitment to being a good global citizen is further expressed by Fiji's ongoing engagement with the UN and its associated agencies and Secretariats and there is no better example of this engagement than Fiji's long contribution to the cause of the UN peacekeeping and peace building.