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COP23 Will Help Us Improve Our Standing In Global Affairs

The magnitude of our task in our presidency of COP23 was evident yesterday in our first Planning Meeting in Suva for the November event in Bonn, Germany. This was a
31 Jan 2017 11:33
COP23 Will Help Us Improve Our Standing  In Global Affairs
Editorial

The magnitude of our task in our presidency of COP23 was evident yesterday in our first Planning Meeting in Suva for the November event in Bonn, Germany.

This was a high-powered meeting where a lot of technical details on logistics were discussed. The Fijian team comprising Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Minister for Agriculture, Rural Development and National Disaster Management, Inia Seruiratu, our Climate Champion, permanent secretaries were briefed of what is expected. The briefing was conducted by members of the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The meeting which ends tomorrow is being attended by two of the world’s leading climate change experts to help build Fiji’s capacity to preside over COP23. They are James Cameron and Patricia Espinosa.

Mr Cameron is a London-based barrister, policy adviser and entrepreneur. He is representing Systematiq, an internationally renowned consultancy group.

Ms Espinosa is the executive secretary of the UNFCCC.

Australia’s Ambassador for Environment, Patrick Suckling, was also present in yesterday’s meeting. Later, he said the Australian government was keen to talk to Fiji about strengthening co-operation on climate change.

Australia is supportive of our presidency in spite of its own political ambiguity on where they stand on climate change.

They have expressed the desire to help Fiji financially and provide human resources to ensure our presidency succeeds with major accomplishment that will be quoted in time in history. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our influence in global issues that affect everyone. It will also showcase Mr Bainimarama’s leadership in a broad range of issues both domestically and internationally for the public good.

In this three-day meeting, Fiji with the help of friends and allies who believe in the positive outcome from this climate change campaign, will set the platform for the success of COP23. Subsequent meetings will build on it.

It is understood that, if things go according to plan, a Pre-Cop23 meeting involving delegates from more than 150 countries will converge in Nadi. The likely venue could be the Fiji Marriott Momi Bay Resort which should be open for business by then.

The delegates will be movers and shakers on whose shoulders rest the future of this global climate change movement. It will be an ideal forum for Fiji and friends to get the delegates to support Fiji’s efforts. There will be a lot of lobbying going on.

The other big plus is the exposure and benefits our tourism will get. It will cap off a big year.

The World Ocean Conference co-hosted by Fiji and Sweden in New York in June will also contribute to lifting the Fijian profile.

COP23, with all its inherent challenges, will become Fiji’s defining moment as it soars to a new level in global affairs.

 

 


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