The Young Peoples Concerned Network has welcomed suggestions by the United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to Fiji's military leaders that they return Fiji to Democracy and respect the human rights of its citizens.
"Since the purported abrogation of Fiji's Constitution, the YPCN have faced limitations to its work and still face a large-scale media ban."
"Also on many level's, the YPCN has been pushed out of regional and national youth development forums due to a blacklist maintained by the Ministry of Information and Defense that limit the movement and speech of certain persons/organizations by way of permits and censoring. This also meant that the YPCN, as a youth group, cannot hold the State accountable to its many false promises on Youth and demand more transparency on youth development funds."
The YPCN also welcomed support by the United States and Australia on 'inclusive dialogue processes' as a means to restoring democracy in Fiji.
In a statement, the organisation said, "dialogue without the common Military Agenda and Preconceived Outcomes is possibly the only solution to a deadlock in taking Fiji forward domestically."
"At a 'Youth Summit' in October, organised by Government, YPCN members and Youth Advocates were warned by a high level Government official to work within the Military Governments Decrees, Strategic Framework for Change and the Peoples Charter or risk isolation and further censorship.
"The YPCN and other pro-democracy advocates were also threatened to work within the Military Agenda "especially if you want to live long"."
"This, in addition to countless documented acts of intimidation, arrests and damaging of property, the YPCN has been forced to self censor and regulate its own work in line with the safety of its members."
"As we celebrate the International Year of Youth, Fiji's Military Government has done very little to protect and effectively engage young people."
"Instead youth are the target of instilled State driven village bylaws that limit youth participation, freedoms and emancipation; there is also a huge hindrance in allowing youth access to democratic processes and full exercise of their rights by way of the extension of the Public Emergency Regulations, Decrees and institutionalized impunity by State Officials."
"Suddenly talk of a Decree to shape youth policy, government commitment to youth, and its possibility of regulating youth organizations and activists has become the immediate threat to our work."
"The YPCN stands ready to work within the framework of a pathway that is free of the PER and inclusive of all wide aspects of our society, leading to the restoration of a Constitutional Parliamentary Democracy as a priority."