Brussels, 27 June 2014/ ACP: The ACP diplomatic corps in Brussels are mourning the tragic loss of one of its key members. The Ambassador of Fiji to the European Union and the Kingdom of Belgium, H.E Peceli Vocea was serving his second term in office since 2009, when he passed away yesterday at the age of 46.

The Ambassador of Fiji was the Chair-in-office of the Subcommittee on Political, Social, Humanitarian & Cultural Affairs of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors. He represented the Pacific region on the Sub-Committee on Financing and Development, and was an active member of the ACP's Sugar Committee, the Ambassadorial Working Group on Future Perspectives of the ACP Group, as well as the Working Group on the 8th ACP Summit for Heads of State and Government.

He also served as Chair of the Trade and Commodities Subcommittee for the year 2012, and in this capacity oversaw the preparations for the ACP and Joint ACP-EU Ministerial Trade meetings, which were presided over by Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Attorney General and Minister for Industry and Trade of Fiji.

He is remembered as a hard working, committed and esteemed member of the African, Caribbean and Pacific family in Brussels, a strong advocate for issues affecting the Pacific region and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and a much-loved leader in the Pacific Island community in Belgium.

Ambassador Vocea had a remarkable career in Fiji's civil service spanning 23 years, which included a two year World Bank assignment in Washington, and appointments as Permanent Secretary for Finance and National Planning, Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Civil Aviation and as a Director on the boards of the Reserve Bank of Fiji, Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority and Fiji Islands Trade and Investment Board.

The ACP Secretary General, H.E Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni visited the late Ambassador’s residence in Kraainem this morning to personally offer condolences on behalf of the ACP Group. He described the late Ambassador as an illustrious representative of his country, and a distinguished plenipotentiary amongst his peers.

Arrangements are being made by the Fijian Embassy for the public to be able to convey messages of condolence.

Ambassador Vocea is survived by his wife Vasiti, and five children.

A memorial service for the Ambassador will be held on Tuesday 1 July 2014 from 14h00 to 17h00 at the St. Andrew's Church of Scotland, Chause de Vleurgat 181, 1050 Brussels.

A book condolence is open at the Embassy of Fiji at 92-94 Square Eugene Plasky, 1030 Brussels on Monday 30 June, 10h00 – 16h30, Wednesday 2 July 13h00 – 16h30, and on Thursday and Friday, 3-4 July from 10h00 – 16h30.

– ACP Press