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PM Urges Leaders To Back 2018 California Summit

PM Urges Leaders To Back 2018 California Summit
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, COP23 president, meets Brazilian Supermodel Gisele Bundchen in New York. She is a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme and is married to American football star, quarterback Tom Brady of New England Patriots. Photo: DEPTFO News
September 21
11:06 2017

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has urged leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York to support the 2018 California Summit that Governor Jerry Brown is convening with other sub national leaders.

He asked them to send the strongest possible message to the parties and the process.

Mr Bainimarama said as COP23 President, he had appointed Governor Brown as Special Envoy for Cities and States to help marshal the grand coalition he was forging for decisive climate action.

“Governments at every level, civil society, the private sector and ordinary men, women and young people uniting for climate action and insisting that more be done. Much more,” Mr Bainimarama said.

According to Mr Bainimarama he approached the Governor because of the global leadership he is already showing by bringing sub national governments together as part of the Under 2 Coalition.

He said he regarded that coalition as an extremely important initiative – a critical pillar of Fiji’s wider grand coalition as COP23 President.

Speaking at the UN Foundations Dinner on Tuesday he said he was proud to have the Governor by his side as Fiji prepared to become the first leader of a Pacific small island state to assume the presidency of COP23 – the ongoing UN negotiations on climate change. 

“Vinaka vakalevu, Jerry, for putting our collective case for decisive climate action so eloquently and so forcefully this evening.”

He told those present at the dinner that they gathered at a time when the people of the Caribbean, who had already suffered so much from Hurricane Irma, were facing yet another ordeal from Hurricane Maria. “And I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say that our hearts go out to them this evening, as well as to the millions of people still reeling from Hurricane Irma in the southern United States.”

Certainly, he said, the thoughts and prayers of every Fijian were with the ordinary men, women and children who were currently suffering the trauma they had shared – the loss of 44 of our loved ones and a third of our GDP from Tropical Cyclone Winston last year.

This he said was the nightmare scenario that vulnerable nations around the world were already dealing with because of climate change. 

“But it spares no-one, whether it is the extreme weather events whose terrible force we are currently witnessing, rising sea levels or the changes to agriculture that threaten our economies and our food security.”

As citizens of the world, he said they had a moral obligation to assist the most vulnerable. 

“To build their resilience to climate change, provide them with access to alternative energy sources, plus affordable insurance to help them recover more quickly from the devastation we are currently witnessing on our television screens.

“Above all, it means an absolute and unwavering commitment to the full implementation of the Paris Agreement of two years ago.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa



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