VANUATU FOREIGN POLICY REVIEW NEARS COMPLETION

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National summit to endorse document before launching this year

By Jane Joshua PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Jan. 29, 2012) - The bulk of work on the Review of Vanuatu’s Foreign Service Act is more than halfway through-75% completed.

Subsequent to the review the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) will develop a Foreign Services Staff Manual, the legislative and administrative policies are important mechanisms the ministry needed to put in place to bring about orderly administration in Vanuatu’s Foreign Service.

Foreign Affairs Minister Alfred Carlot revealed the MOFA will also complete work on new policy documents on Protocol guidelines, membership to International Organisations and VIP Lounge regulations, all the efforts of the hard working MOFA staff.

Minister Carlot said the nation experienced a very challenging year after the second meeting of the Heads of overseas Missions in Luganville, Santo (January 2011), many of these challenges a result of the increased interaction with international organisations and countries as well the challenge to the government to maintain political stability whilst endeavoring to maintain a sound foreign policy on important issues of concern.

"The work to promote and defend our national interest in the foreign arena is paramount," he said.

"This means the government is obliged to develop the correct policy to win opportunities and thrust development in the country."

Due to this he said the government developed a Strategic representation document as a Policy guide to foreign relations which has been passed by the council and the implementation of the decisions is progressing well to date.

"Vanuatu needs a proper National Foreign Policy and I am glad after a national provincial consultation throughout Vanuatu the ministry is in the process of writing a policy document," said minister Carlot.

"The government will convene a national summit to endorse this document before it will be launched this year."

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