Commonwealth Secretary-General Appoints South African Judge as Special Envoy to Fiji Islands
1 December 2000
Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon today appointed Justice Pius N Langa, Deputy President of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, as his Special Envoy to Fiji Islands to act as facilitator to accelerate the restoration of democracy and promote national unity in that country.
The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group on the Harare Declaration (CMAG) asked Mr McKinnon in September 2000 to appoint a Special Envoy following Fiji Islands' suspension from the councils of the Commonwealth as a result of the attempted coup of 19 May 2000 and the displacement of its democratically elected government.
Mr McKinnon visited Fiji shortly after 19 May to attempt to resolve the situation there and more recently sent one of his Deputy Secretaries-General, Mr Winston Cox, to discuss with all parties the appointment of a Special Envoy.
Justice Langa will visit Fiji Islands next week to meet the principal parties, including the Interim Administration and members of the former coalition government.
Mr McKinnon said:
"I continue to be concerned over the situation in Fiji. I hope that Justice Langa will be able to apply his considerable experience to communicate with all parties effectively in order to restore democracy and unity in that country.
"Justice Langa brings to his task a distinguished record in jurisprudence as well as considerable experience in the politics of pluralism and national reconciliation."
Justice Langa will be assisted by two senior officials of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Mrs Judith Pestaina and Ms Michele Law.
00/106 01 December 2000