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Stand With Us, PM Asks Modi

The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, yesterday asked India to side with the Pacific against the ‘Coalition of the Selfish’ in the climate change battle. He made the request to Indian
23 Aug 2015 16:18
Stand With Us, PM Asks Modi
Taking selfie leaders: Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, click away in Jaipur, India. They did the same when Mr Modi visited Fiji last November. It reflects the rapport between the two leaders.

The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, yesterday asked India to side with the Pacific against the ‘Coalition of the Selfish’ in the climate change battle.

He made the request to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the India-Pacific Island Co-operation summit at Jaipur, India.

Mr Bainimarama said Fiji and its Pacific neighbours intended to lead the charge for drastic cuts in carbon emissions at the World Climate

Summit at the end of November.

“We have precisely 14 weeks to persuade the industrial nations to put our survival before the wellbeing of their carbon polluting industries,” he said.

Mr Bainimarama said: “Mr Prime Minister, we ask India to stand with us as we do so. To side with us rather than with what I have called the Coalition of the Selfish. Those nations who are putting their interests before the interests of those of us who are most vulnerable to climate change – the Small Island Developing States.”

He said the Pacific should be respected.

“As part of the global heritage, the Pacific belongs to the world but it is also our home. And we insist that it be respected,” he said.

“For our people never again to be pawns or victims of disputes between the great powers. To keep the Pacific pacific – peaceful – and protect our pristine environment for all time. For the ocean that sustains us to have its resources utilised in a sustainable manner. And to remain a sanctuary for the enjoyment of Pacific peoples and visitors from around the world for generations to come.”

Mr Bainimarama said by far the “most pressing issue we face – and the one that requires the most urgent response – is the grave threat posed to us by the rising sea levels and extreme weather events caused by climate change.”

He said: “We are all suffering in the Pacific to a greater or lesser extent. But in the case of three of our nations – Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Marshall islands – their very existence is threatened. And unless the industrial nations agree to binding cuts in carbon emissions to arrest the current level of global warming, these nations are destined to sink beneath the waves and disappear off the map altogether.

“What will happen to their citizens is one of the great challenges the world will face. Fiji has offered permanent sanctuary to the citizens of Kiribati and Tuvalu, our nearest neighbours. But all this presents a range of logistic and legal challenges which the international community needs to address.”

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

 

 

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