From the Archives, 2002:
Monday, April 20, 2015, Fiji Times
THE Fiji Native Tribal Congress is expected to make a presentation to the United Nations in the 14th Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) at the UN headquarters, New York tomorrow.
This is where the congress will present different stories of the plight of iTaukei people to the United Nations.
Member of Parliament and an advocate for iTaukei rights, Niko Nawaikula said indigenous Fijians are different from the Maoris and the Papuans who had to wage war against their colonisers.
"Fiji's major concern is the breach of the groups rights that are now rightly considered as human rights, of native Fijians; they include the right to the protection of their cultural institutions, like our GCC, the right to have their educational institutions like our QVS, the right to their name and other intellectual property, the right to their financial institutions like our Fijian Holdings, the right to own and manage their land and natural resources to name a few," Mr Nawaikula said in a statement.
He said one of these very essential rights was the right to self-determination which meant to independently maintain and administer their cultural and financial institutions and to be consulted and to give their prior consent before any government changes any policy or pass a law that affect indigenous group.
"The Fiji Native Delegation as we are called has been very lucky to have been associated with Kai Ladlow of the Hawaiian embassy, an expert on proceedings here, who has been arranging this for us including setting up a side event to explain the breaches of native Fijian indigenous group rights," Mr Nawaikula said.
"We also have prepared our three-minute statement and a substantive submission and petition signed by the paramount chiefs of the Burebasaga and Tovata confederacies Ro Teimumu Kepa and Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu on behalf of the vanua and indigenous Fijians.
"This is also for the individuals and also on behalf of the supporting NGOs of Fiji Native Tribal Congress, Vitivou Foundation, Fiji Indigenous Forum, Democracy For Fiji Movement and Nehemiah Corporation; Jese Sikivou, Mere Samisoni, Emosi Toga, Varinava Tiko, Miri Buadromo, Adi Asenaca Caucau, Tevita Korodrau, Adi Litia Qionibaravi, Emitai Boladuadua, and Vilisi Nadaku.
"Ultimately our aim is to ask the UN and international community to intervene and put pressure on the Bainimarama government to honour ILOC 169." Source: Fiji Times, Monday 20 April 2015