More USP Convention Instruments deposited with Fiji Government
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Mr Winston Thompson, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the USP Council (L) hands over additional Instruments of Signature and Ratification for the USP Convention to Ratu Tui Cavuilati, the new Roving Ambassador for Oceania at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Suva.
The University of the South Pacific (USP) deposited additional instruments of Signature and Ratification for the USP Convention to the Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Suva on 7 February, 2018.
Mr Winston Thompson, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the USP Council also took the opportunity to greet and formally congratulate Ratu Tui Cavuilati, the new Roving Ambassador for Oceania, on his recent appointment.
Ratu Tui welcomed the delegation from USP saying it was an honour to host and also receive the Instruments of Signature and Ratification for the USP Convention.
“We acknowledge that we have received the Instruments and consider it appropriate given that Fiji is where USP is headquartered,” Ratu Tui mentioned.
Ratu Tui also congratulated the University on having reached its 50th year of existence saying it was a milestone not only for USP but for the entire Pacific.
He was further briefed on the activities scheduled to mark the 50th Anniversary celebrations including the imminent setting up of the historical RNZAF monument at the Laucala Campus on 23 March, 2018.
Speaking on the Convention, Mr Thompson explained that having one is necessary to enable USP to have a legal standing within its member countries.
He noted that USP was established under the Royal Charter in 1968 and the legal advice then was that the Charter is a satisfactory and sufficient legal base for the University going forward.
“Recently however, there have been queries raised 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.
Mr Thompson clarified that it is necessary to have a Convention between the members of the University, accepting the legality of USP within their jurisdictions.
This morning, signatures for the Convention by Fiji and Solomon Islands were deposited including ratifications by the Republic of Marshall Islands and Kiribati.
Also deposited was a copy of a Cabinet Memorandum on the USP Bill 2017 and an email from the Solicitor General of Cook Islands, that Cabinet approval of a Convention is recognised as ratification in the Cook Islands.
Mr Thompson confirmed that so far four member countries have ratified the Convention including Cook Islands, Kiribati, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Samoa.
“The respective parliaments of Vanuatu and Nauru have approved ratification of the USP Convention in December 2017 and all that is left now is for these two countries to formally ratify it in writing,” he stated.
Mr Thompson further explained that all member countries have signed the Convention with the exception of Niue, “that is progressing with a possibility of signing at the USP Council meeting in Nauru on 22-23 May, 2018”.
Samoa was the first member country to ratify the USP Convention on 25 May, 2017.
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