Thursday, August 07, 2008

Charter plans

Charter plans
VERENAISI RAICOLAThursday, August 07, 2008

There are 11 key pillars for rebuilding Fiji proposed in the draft People's Charter that people would have the opportunity to support or reject when consultations start.
The pillars include ensuring sustainable democracy, good and just governance, developing a common national identity and building social cohesion.
There will also be moves to ensure effective, enlightened and accountable leadership, enhancing public sector efficiency, performance effectiveness and service delivery.
Another move is to achieve higher economic growth while ensuring sustainability.
Also high on the agenda is making more land available for productive and social purposes as well as developing an integrated development structure at the provincial level.
The pillar aims at reducing poverty to a negligible level by 2015 allowing Fiji knowledge-based societies.
The charter will improve health service delivery and enhance global integration as well as international relations.
The draft says only a fair and just constitution is the basis of good governance.
However, a constitution that divides the people and separates them, which does not provide for equal opportunities, can be neither fair nor just.
The world community, in declarations and treaties expressing the highest ideals, has opposed racism and injustice.
The draft states the people of Fiji were all too aware of the harm racial division has done.
It says that democracy must be entrenched in the Constitution in accord with the pledge to rebuild a better Fiji for all one nation, one people with a common identity and shared destiny.
The NCBBF says Fiji's electoral system is racially discriminatory and undemocratic. The United Nations Convention on Discrimination and the Right to Universal and Equal Suffrage requires each individual vote to be equal in value.
"The communal system of representation entrenches, inequality by not providing one value for one vote and has contributed to the coup culture and the consequent ethnic based politics that has impeded our national development.
"We acknowledge that democracy is more than just a matter of voting.
"Effective democratic governance must place the people at the centre.
"We, therefore, affirm our commitment to secure a more transparent and accountable process of government," the draft says.
"The people's eyes are the eyes of the nation, their ears are the ears of the nation, and their voice, the voice of the nation.
"To perfect democratic governance in Fiji, we, the people, must be free to see, hear and to speak on the affairs of our country."
In the wake of the coups since 1987, Fiji suffers the stigma of having a coup culture.
"We must put an end to the cycle of coups," the draft charter says.

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