Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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GCC cannot function like old: Baledrokadroka

The Great Council of Chiefs Review Team has warned that the GCC will not survive if it tries to function the way it did, under political influence and financial dependence.

To revert to its past model would simply be setting it up for failure and irrelevance.

In a GCC Review Report, Chairperson Jone Baledrokadroka said based on its consultations process, indigenous Fijians that were consulted have made it plain that they want the GCC to deliver and do more.

Baledrokadroka said the Review Team has heard repeated demands that the i-Taukei wants the GCC to play a much larger, more meaningful role in their economic empowerment and progress.

He said they want the GCC to be more effective in its leadership, as stewards of the natural resources of the i-Taukei.

“The incontrovertible poverty statistics and reality in Fiji point to large-socio-economic gaps between the i-Taukei and other ethnicities.”

“It is a wake-up call for action. It surely must be one of the most pressing national challenges facing not just the i-Taukei, but the government and the country as a whole,” Baledrokadroka said.

The GCC Taskforce highlighted that if it is able to deliver on these expectations, the GCC can be assured of remaining as a legitimate steward of i-Taukei.

Baledrokadroka said the legal pathway of validating the revamped structure stands to strengthen further and legitimise the new form – the changes required by law to realise this will be incremental in its implementations, at different points of the proposed pathway.

“Regarding UNDRIP as the legal overarching framework in which the GCC will flourish, the revamped structure will enable the partnership between UNDRIP and the GCC to thrive,” he added.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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