Instruments of USP Convention deposited at Fiji’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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Mr Winston Thompson, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the USP Council depositing the instruments for the USP Convention to H.E Madam Litia Mawi, Roving Ambassador to the Pacific.
The University of the South Pacific (USP) deposited instruments for the USP Convention to the Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Suva on 3 August, 2017.
In doing so, Mr Winston Thompson, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the USP Council explained that having a Convention was necessary to enable USP to have a legal standing within its member countries.
“As you know USP is established under the Royal Charter when it first came to being back in 1968 and legal advice then was that the Charter is a satisfactory and sufficient legal base for the University going forward.
“But recently questions have arisen over the general acceptance across the international spectrum of the Royal Charter. And because of this, the University is of the view that over time it may become even more questionable,” he said.
According to Mr Thompson, it is necessary to have a Convention between the members of the University accepting the legality of USP within their jurisdictions.
He stated that negotiation had been ongoing for some time now and it was finally approved by the USP Council at its last meeting in the Republic of Marshall Islands where eight (8) of the twelve (12) member countries signed and one ratified.
“To date, we are expecting signatures from Fiji and Tuvalu and ratifications from Tuvalu and the Cook Islands,” Mr Thompson noted.
He added that USP is “on the right track and hopefully by the next Council meeting in November, we will get more ratifications so that the Convention can come into force”.
“We are also proud of the fact that the depository for our Convention is being done here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with Fiji hosting the main Laucala campus and it is also appropriate that the legal instruments of the University be kept here,” he further said.
Her Excellency Madam Litia Mawi, Roving Ambassador to the Pacific accepted the instruments saying that on behalf of the Fijian Government she would ensure that they are kept in safe custody.
H.E Mawi said the Fiji Government is expected to sign the Convention soon and she assured that as Fiji’s special envoy to the CROP agencies including USP, she would ensure that this is facilitated at the earliest before the launch of USP’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2018.
“It is a special moment to have the USP Convention fully signed and ratified,” added H.E Mawi who also wished USP all the best.
The particulars of instruments delivered included the signatures of the representatives of Cook Islands, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Tokelau, Tonga and Vanuatu; Instrument of Ratification by Samoa, Instrument of Full Powers by Tonga and a copy of the USP Convention, Charter of the University and Statutes of USP.
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