30 September 1997
Fiji is to rejoin the Commonwealth as its 54th member. This was announced today by the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, on conclusion of his consultations with member governments, following an application from the Government of Fiji for readmission. Fiji's membership takes effect from 1 October.
In welcoming Fiji to the Commonwealth after its membership lapsed 10 years ago, Chief Anyaoku said "The Commonwealth responded warmly to the wish of the people of Fiji that their country resume its membership of the Commonwealth now that a new constitution has been approved which enjoys national consensus and which conforms with the Commonwealth's Harare principles. In doing so, the Commonwealth has once again renewed its commitment to those principles and I look forward to welcoming the Prime Minister of Fiji later this month at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Edinburgh."
Note to Editors
Fiji's membership of the Commonwealth lapsed on 15 October 1987. A decision to this effect was taken by Heads of Government during the 1987 Vancouver Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting primarily on the ground that Fiji, which had declared itself a republic, had adopted a form of Government which was seen as fundamentally at odds with the basic Commonwealth ethos.
Since 1993, the Government of Fiji has taken steps to comprehensively review its Constitution. The Constitutional Amendment Bill received the unanimous support of the Parliament of Fiji and its passage was the culmination of a process of careful consideration by all ethnic communities in Fiji and was accepted by the representatives of all the communities.
97/49 30 September 1997