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We Share The Same Challenges

We Share The Same Challenges
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with Kazakhstan counterpart Bakhytytzhan Sagintayev on the margins of the Astana Expo on Future Energy which our PM was invited to. Photo: DEPTFO News
August 16
11:00 2017

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says Fiji and landlocked Kazakhstan may differ in location but we share the same challenges on climate change.

Mr Bainimarama made the statement yesterday in the Kazakh capital of Astana during his first official visit to the world’s ninth largest country in size and the most economically advanced nation in Central Asia.

Mr Bainimarama was invited by his Kazakh counterpart, Bakhytytzhan Sagintayev, to attend the Astana Expo on ‘Future Energy’.

In their bilateral talks yesterday, Mr Bainimarama told Mr Sagintayev: “Excellency, our countries may differ; Fiji being a tropical nation made up of hundreds of islands surrounded by the ocean, while Kazakhstan in contrast, is the biggest landlocked country in the world – and the ninth largest overall – with the nearest ocean thousands of kilometres away.

“However, I believe we share the same challenges when it comes to climate change. Our way of life and our future is equally under threat of being extinguished prematurely due to the impacts of climate change.

“In order to counter the impacts of climate change at the national level, we’re implementing measures to reduce our carbon emissions as committed under the Paris Agreement.

“This includes promoting the use of sustainable energy, through policies and practice. In this regard, I acknowledge with appreciation the grant of US$100,000 (about F$202,020) by the Government of Kazakhstan to the Fijian Government to undertake research on Future Energy.

“This is in line with my government’s priorities to promote sustainable energy, reduce carbon emission and achieve its intended targets under the Paris Agreement.

“The results of the feasibility study undertaken under this Grant will be displayed at the Expo premises and I invite you to visit Fiji’s showcase.”

He said it was pleasing to note that the theme for the Astana Expo also focused on future energy.

He said this was a significant issue for island states such as Fiji, “as we implement measures to assist us in our targets under the Paris Agreement.”

“I realise that there is a need for more bilateral engagements and exchanges at all levels. We need to engage at a political level and also through people to people exchanges.

“Fiji values best practices and learnings that Kazakhstan’s Agriculture and Mineral Resources sectors have acquired through years of research, and I am confident that these would complement our key strategic areas for the next twenty years.

“I am certain that there are numerous ways in which we can deepen our relations including the connectivity gains through the Belt and Road initiative in partnership with China.

“And I am hopeful that the occasion today is a positive step towards that direction.”

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with Kazakhstan counterpart Bakhytytzhan Sagintayev in Astana. Mr Bainimarama’s delegation also included Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya and Permanent Secretary for the Office of the Prime Minister and Sugar Industry and Immigration Yogesh Karan (back). Photo: DEPTFO News

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with Kazakhstan counterpart Bakhytytzhan Sagintayev in Astana. Mr Bainimarama’s delegation also included Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya and Permanent Secretary for the Office of the Prime Minister and Sugar Industry and Immigration Yogesh Karan (back). Photo: DEPTFO News

He said “our Ambassador based in Beijing has just recently presented his credentials as our non-resident Ambassador to Kazakhstan.”

“This is a reflection of our commitment to strengthening our bi-lateral relations which I fully support; and I look forward to increased engagements and greater levels of cooperation between our countries,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“Our cooperation and engagements at ministerial and official’s level have been ongoing after our two Foreign Ministers met in 2013 in Astana, and in 2014 your Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia and Special Envoy visited Fiji.

“Moreover, Excellency, I was very pleased when your Foreign Minister visited Fiji for the first time in 2015 and I look forward to more of such High Level visits in future.

“As you may be aware, since the establishment of formal diplomatic relations in 2012, we have co-operated on multilateral issues which have been reinforced through our common membership of the Asia-Pacific Group and other organisations of the United Nations.

“The strength of our relations is reflected in Fiji’s support for the Kazakhstan for Astana to host the EXPO-2017and also our support for Kazakhstan to bid for the non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for 2017-2018. Excellency, in doing do I look forward to your successful candidature and wish you all success.

“In terms of our International engagements, this year is a critical year for Fiji as we provide leadership on the agendas of ocean and climate change.

“As you know, we have successfully hosted in New York the 1st UN Ocean Conference as a step towards the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14. Given the outcomes of the meeting and the positive response and commitments shown by all member states, I am optimistic that we are on the right path to achieving SDG14 by 2030. For this reason, we continue to look to our partners including Kazakhstan for your continuous support and commitment.

“We’re now focusing on the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties

(COP 23) to the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that will be held in Bonn, Germany in November. We now have a COP23 Presidency

Secretariat based in our Capital, Suva and preparations are already in motion.

We have concluded our preparations with our regional partners leading up to the Bonn Conference. We will be hosting the Pre-COP meeting in Fiji in October before the big Conference in November. Again, on this, we seek the support of important development partners such as Kazakhstan to ensure the success of COP23. Excellency, I also take this opportunity to invite you to attend our Pre-COP meeting in Suva from the 17-18 of October.

“Our meeting today provides many pathways for consistent engagements and collaborations between our people and government and I am confident that that under your leadership both our countries will work together in the years ahead.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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