In the context of the escalating tension in Fiji, a meeting of Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Affairs Ministers (FFAMM) was held in Sydney, Australia on 1 December 2006 which agreed to convene urgently an Eminent Persons Group (EPG) to visit Fiji to meet all the relevant parties to the impasse, and to make recommendations for a way forward. On 15 December, following consultations with the Chair, the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum wrote to Heads of Government seeking their agreement to suspend the Prime Minister of Fiji’s position as Forum Chair given his practical inability to fulfill his duties. Leaders agreed to this. As events had overtaken the agreed decisions of the FFAMM, new EPG Terms of Reference (See Annex A of the report) were drafted and circulated to Forum Foreign Ministers.
The EPG recognises that political issues in Fiji are complex and have a long history. It has restricted its report to the key events immediately leading up, or directly relevant to, the events of 5 December 2006 and since.
This report covers the following areas:
Assessment of the underlying causes and the nature of the overthrow of the Government
Assessment of the prospects for appropriate resolution of the present situation in Fiji and obstacles to such a resolution
Steps that the parties in Fiji may take to move toward the restoration of democratic government
The role of the Forum and its members in assisting Fiji achieve the restoration of democratic government.