British High Commissioner to Fiji Her Excellency Melanie Hopkins
Deputy Police Commissioner Mr Rusiata Tudravu
Members of the Fiji Police Force
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen
A very good morning to you all!
Thank you for inviting me to the opening of the Fiji Police Force Women in Leadership workshop.
Advancing women in the ranks of public administration is an important gender equality goal to ensure that a wide range of perspectives are brought to bear on policy making and service delivery.
The initiative of the Fiji Police Women’s Network to gather female leaders from across the country and from all walks of life, to share experiences, best practices and knowledge is truly a worthwhile exercise and sends a clear message to the citizens of Fiji.
This initiative not only provides the opportunity for capacity building, but allows for the development of ideas to support female police officers in assuming leadership and decision-making positions. The Network promotes and encourages active participation by women in the Force and provides an avenue by which women officers can highlight issues impacting their career progression.
Fiji has made international and regional commitments to promote women in decision making through the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), its commitment to the Beijing Platform for Action, and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
Encouraging women to take leadership roles is an integral part of Sustainable Development Goal 5.
SDG Target 5.5 aims to ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunity for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life. There are good practices and results within the Fiji Police Force and worldwide, which I encourage all participants to share and apply.
Effective leadership is not achieved by a title on a business card. Rather it is evident through one’s qualities, in the manner in which they conduct themselves, and support others to reach a goal. It is a group effort, as every organisation requires such leadership at all levels in order to achieve an organisation’s vision.
UNDP acknowledges and is thankful for the valuable partnerships created under the UNDP Pacific Security Sector Governance Project. The ongoing support from the British High Commission over the past number of years has resulted in the achievement of various significant milestones, and this workshop is certainly one of those. We look forward to continuing this productive and fruitful partnership in the future.
To the honoured guests that will share their experiences and knowledge with the participants, thank you for demonstrating effective leadership by your presence and for taking the time out of your busy schedules.
To the participants, I wish you a productive, thought provoking two days that challenge preconceptions and generate resolution pathways. The first female leader of UNDP, Helen Clark, highlighted the need for ‘investment in women’s well-being, potential, empowerment, participation, and leadership’ and emphasized that ‘educated, healthy, and empowered women drive development faster.’ You are the future and the future is up to you.
To conclude, I wish to congratulate the Fiji Police Force on organizing this workshop and I wish the Fiji Police Women’s Network much success in the future.