Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has defended the Government’s decision to appoint Filipo Tarakinikini as Fiji’s Acting Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.
While responding to criticism laid by the former Prime Minister and leader of the Fiji Labour Party Mahendra Chaudhry, Rabuka said Tarakinikini’s appointment is temporary.
Rabuka said Tarakinikini was already on the ground to immediately step in.
“An acting appointment from within was not possible given the seniority of the position and given the fact that the next officer in the establishment is a Second Secretary, following the earlier resignation of the Counsellor.”
“The substantive Permanent Representative’s term was due to end in April, and it would have been an unnecessary cost and inconvenience to have someone from Suva fills the post temporarily.”
“Tarakinikini is based in New York, and he is thoroughly familiar with the UN system, having worked in the UN headquarters until December last year.”
Rabuka said the appointment process would be adhered to.
“This will be done together with the review and recall of other relevant Heads of Missions, and a substantive appointment made through the due process.”