FIJI ‘HON­OURED’ TO CHAIR COP23

PM Bain­i­marama says Fiji is first Pa­cific Is­land na­tion to be given this im­por­tant task

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - NE­MANI DELAIBATIKI SUVA

Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama says Fiji is hon­oured and hum­bledby the con­fi­dence that the com­mu­nity of na­tions has placed in it to pre­side over COP23. The next United Na­tions Con­fer­ence on Cli­mate Change – COP 23 – in Bonn, Ger­many, will be held next year. "We are the first Pa­cific Is­lands na­tion to be given this im­por­tant task and we are acutely aware of the great re­spon­si­bil­ity that has been en­trusted to us,” he said.

“As the re­gion of the world that is des­tined to bear the worst brunt of the ef­fects of cli­mate change, we have been given a cru­cial plat­form to put our case. "And I make the fol­low­ing pledge to our is­land neigh­bours and the other low ly­ing na­tions of the world, along with the rest of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

“Fiji will do ev­ery­thing in its power to ful­fil its duty to place cli­mate change at the very top of

the global agenda. As Pres­i­dent of COP-23, we will use this plat­form to con­tinue to press for deeper cuts in car­bon emis­sions to re­duce global warm­ing even fur­ther. “And to counter the ris­ing sea lev­els and ex­treme weather events that threaten the very ex­is­tence of some na­tions.” He said Fiji would do ev­ery­thing it could to lobby the in­dus­trial coun­tries who were re­spon­si­ble for these emis­sions to al­lo­cate ad­e­quate fund­ing. He said the fund­ing was in the form of grants – “to en­able us to build our re­silience and adapt to the ter­ri­fy­ing new era that awaits us.

“I again ap­peal to the Pres­i­dent-Elect of the United States, Don­ald Trump, to show lead­er­ship on this is­sue by aban­don­ing his cur­rent po­si­tion that man-made cli­mate change is a hoax.

“On the con­trary, the global sci­en­tific con­sen­sus is that it is very real and we must act more de­ci­sively to avert catastrophe. “As the sec­ond big­gest car­bon emit­ter on earth, the United States must take re­spon­si­bil­ity for con­tribut­ing to our col­lec­tive re­sponse to this cri­sis and show lead­er­ship at this crit­i­cal time. “We in the Pa­cific – in com­mon with the whole world - look to Amer­ica for that lead­er­ship and for its en­gage­ment and as­sis­tance on cli­mate change, just as we looked to Amer­ica dur­ing the dark days of World War Two. “And I say to the Amer­i­can peo­ple: You came to save us then. And it is time for you to help save us now.

“I re­new my of­fer to Pres­i­den­t­Elect Trump to come to Fiji to see the ef­fects of cli­mate change for him­self. And to meet Pa­cific Is­land lead­ers face-to-face in Fiji to dis­cuss the cri­sis we are all fac­ing, along with other low-ly­ing ar­eas of the world in­clud­ing parts of Amer­ica. “Fiji warmly thanks the na­tions of the Asia-Pa­cific for putting us for­ward and giv­ing us our own op­por­tu­nity to show lead­er­ship by pre­sid­ing over COP23. “And I again pledge to do ev­ery­thing in our power to draw global at­ten­tion to this most press­ing is­sue that hu­man­ity faces - the preser­va­tion and sur­vival of the planet on which we all live.” Edited by Naisa Koroi

He said Fiji would do ev­ery­thing it could to lobby the in­dus­trial coun­tries who were re­spon­si­ble for these emis­sions to al­lo­cate ad­e­quate fund­ing.

Photo: DEPTFO News

Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama with Am­bas­sador Manasvi Sriso­dapo, the out­go­ing Chair G77 + China from Thai­land at Mar­rakesh, Morocco.

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