APCOM Special COVID-19 Newsletter Series: One Year On

By April 9, 2021 May 29th, 2021 Advocacy, Newsroom, Regional

Pacific Ambassador: Ratu Epeli Nailatikau (former President of Fiji)

Ratu Epeli Nailatikau
Pacific Ambassador

This year, we celebrate and embrace the theme of ending inequalities. To end inequalities, is to acknowledge and embrace the importance of diversity.

Through diversity, the human race has evolved more than any generation at any time ever dreamed would be possible. This was achieved through equality and equal opportunity.

Diversity dispels negative stereotypes and personal biases about different groups, and promotes growth across the board. Moving into a world recovering from COVID -19, I hope to see more solidarity, support and inclusivity for our LGBTQI groups.

Ratu Epeli Nailatikau

In Fiji, much of the support during COVID-19 for our LGBTQI and other minority groups came from the exceptional leadership of the first female country director for UNAIDS, Renata Ram[1] and the active and outstanding groups of the Rainbow Pride Foundation[2], Haus of Khameleon[3], Survival Advocacy Network[4] and Strumphet Alliance Network[5].

They worked tirelessly in 2020 to develop initiatives to allow LGBTQI groups, sex workers and other minority groups to support themselves through COVID-19 by generating incomes and securing their livelihoods.

These are excellent initiatives from our communities and activists. With 2020 as a year of ending inequalities, I hope and believe that we will see more support, understanding and action from other local organisations as well as the private and public sectors.

By looking after and including our LGBTQI communities, we promote stability and development at a time when we need it most. And this is something we all need to work on together.

[1] https://pacific.un.org/en/114088-opinion-zero-discrimination-day-end-inequality-save-lives

[2] https://rainbowpridefoundation.org/

[3] http://www.hausofkhameleon.org/

[4] https://www.apnsw.info/news/2007/08/15/survival-advocacy-network-founded-in-fiji

[5] https://www.nswp.org/members/strumphet-alliance-network

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