Busi­ness as Usual for PM on First Day of Fo­rum Meet­ing in Tu­valu

Mr Bain­i­marama spoke with con­fi­dence know­ing that he has the 100 per cent back­ing of the small is­land states on cli­mate change. It’s the same kind of sup­port he is likely to get on other is­sues.

Fiji Sun - - 50th Pacific Islands Forum - Ne­mani De­laibatiki Feed­back: ne­mani.de­[email protected]­jisun.com.fj

Yesterday was just an­other day at the of­fice for Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama dur­ing the first day of the Pa­cific Is­lands Fo­rum meet­ing in Fu­na­futi, Tu­valu.

As he moved to ar­tic­u­late three is­sues from cli­mate change to oceans and hu­man rights – there was no letup in his in­tense en­gage­ment with fo­rum lead­ers.

He has been on the go since he ar­rived in Fu­na­futi on Sun­day on board a mil­i­tary air­craft. He was the first leader to ar­rive, ob­vi­ously anx­ious about re-en­gag­ing at the fo­rum af­ter stay­ing out for more than 10 years.

But his long ab­sence has had no im­pact on his re­turn. It ap­pears he never left. He has been warmly em­braced by ev­ery­one, re­al­is­ing that he brings a lot of strength and value to the fo­rum.

He ap­proaches the var­i­ous is­sues with pas­sion

and com­mit­ment in the same way and in­ten­sity that he does to cli­mate change. So when the fo­rum started yesterday, it was busi­ness as usual for him. It is un­der­stood that Mr Bain­i­marama loves to be busy and he raises the bar when he is un­der pres­sure. He does not like to be idle. Yesterday, he spoke on cli­mate change in that un­mis­tak­able tone, just as he did on Mon­day when he ad­dressed small is­land de­vel­op­ing states, that caught the at­ten­tion of the world.

On hu­man rights, he made it clear that Fiji was com­mit­ted to the pro­tec­tion of hu­man rights. He was con­cerned about re­ports of al­leged hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions in West Pa­pua. He strongly ad­vo­cated for the pro­tec­tion of the hu­man rights of all West Pa­pua. He was speak­ing as Vice-Pres­i­dent of the UN Hu­man Rights Coun­cil. Mr Bain­i­marama spoke with con­fi­dence know­ing that he has the 100 per cent back­ing of the small is­land states on cli­mate change. It’s the same kind of sup­port he is likely to get on other is­sues.

As he heads for the Lead­ers’ Re­treat to­day he is ex­pect­ing more en­gage­ment there with other lead­ers.

He will en­gage with Aus­tralian Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son on Aus­tralia’s com­mit­ment to cut­ting back car­bon emis­sion be­cause of its reliance on the coal in­dus­try in the na­tional econ­omy.

This is de­spite Aus­tralia’s an­nounce­ment that it will fund a A$500 mil­lion cli­mate change pack­age for the Pa­cific.

It is likely to be a pre­lude to more sub­stan­tive di­a­logue in Can­berra next month when Mr Bain­i­marama makes his first of­fi­cial visit to Aus­tralia.

He has been on the go since he ar­rived in Fu­na­futi on Sun­day on board a mil­i­tary air­craft.

Photo: DEPFTO News

Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama (third from left) dur­ing the Pa­cific Is­lands Fo­rum in Tu­valu.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Fiji

© PressReader. All rights reserved.