Vanuatu Government reaffirms the constitutional rights of its citizens under all citizenship programmes

Vanuatu Government reaffirms the constitutional rights of its citizens under all citizenship programmes

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: In response to a few unconfirmed media reports that question the equality of citizenship granted under the Vanuatu Development and Support Programme (DSP), the Vanuatu Trade Mission to the UAE addresses the opinions, speculations, and biases referring to the official press statement issued by the Vanuatu government on September 21st to reaffirm the government’s positions to equal treatment towards its citizens under all citizenship by investment programmes.

The Vanuatu Trade Mission to the UAE has maintained an open line of contact with the concerned authorities in the government of Vanuatu for the past few days for the purpose of reassuring Vanuatu citizens across the region.

Speculation presented as facts are rejected

A few media outlets have speculated that individuals naturalized under the Vanuatu’s Development and Support Programme are considered “honorary citizens” preventing them from future political participation and will issued different coloured passports to natural born Vanuatu citizens. They allegations are both false. 

While debates and constructive opinions have been always welcomed by the Vanuatu government to refine its citizenship by investment programmes, it boldly rejects fabrications and opinions presented as facts to generate doubts around its CBI programmes. 

His Excellency Ronald Warsal, the Chairman of Vanuatu’s Citizenship Commission, has issued a press statement to address the matter and clarify any ambiguities around the protection of the civil rights of all Vanuatu citizens.

“The only authorised channel to suggest, create and communicate program modifications is the Vanuatu Citizenship Commission. All other statements or comments regarding the programs or citizenship program augmentations should be treated as unofficial or personal remarks and not government policy,” Ronald Warsal stated in his statement.

Thorough review and discussions are being made with domestic and international partners to refine both of its citizenship programmes

The government of Vanuatu has intensified its efforts to modify its existing programmes to make them more appealing to investors in a way that meets both domestic and international expectations. The citizenship by investment programme is critically important to Vanuatu driving a record breaking $84.5mn in revenue as of August 2020. 

“The government is currently conducting a thorough review of the DSP and VCP and is committed to ensuring that the program evolves in a measured, regulated way. The Citizenship Commission is in active discussion with both domestic and internationally- based parties with the aim of improving and securing the framework of the DSP and VSP to both address domestic concerns and meet international obligations,” Warsal stated.

On the other hand, the key international partners of the Vanuatu government, who have been entrusted for years with promoting its CBI programmes and driving sustainable income inflow, are pleased with the efforts and modification being made to increase the transparency levels of the exiting CBI programmes. 

“We are witnessing positive changes being introduced to the Vanuatu citizenship by investment programmes. This has added to the credibility of those programmes and led to more high net worth individuals being attracted to them. Vanuatu citizens residing in the UAE or any other territory within the Middle East should be assured that all their civil rights are protected under the provisions of the Vanuatu constitution as full citizens, and we are honoured to have the opportunity to serve them in all consulate services they require from the Vanuatu Trade Mission to the UAE,” Mimoun A. Assraoui, Chairman of the Vanuatu Trade Mission to the UAE and Chief Executive Officer of RIF Trust, commented.

All Vanuatu citizens are equal in the eyes of the Vanuatu government

Ronald Warsal reaffirmed the constitutional rights of Vanuatu Citizens under the prevailing laws. In his statement, he has removed any ambiguity around citizenships obtained or being obtained under the existing or previous versions of Vanuatu CBI programmes.

“Finally, all Vanuatu citizens who have achieved citizenship under any of the existing or former versions of the citizenship by investment program are equal in the eyes of the Vanuatu government and are to be assured of their rights and privileges as ni-Vanuatu, enshrined under the existing Citizenship Act Cap 112,” Warsal concluded.