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Connor Heads COP23 Office

The former head of the Australian Climate Institute, John Connor, has been confirmed as the executive director of COP23 Secretariat office. The Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Voreqe
07 Apr 2017 11:11
Connor Heads COP23 Office
Newly appointed Executive Director of the COP23 Secretariat, John Connor

The former head of the Australian Climate Institute, John Connor, has been confirmed as the executive director of COP23 Secretariat office.

The Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Voreqe Bainimarama, announced this yesterday while addressing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Heads of Missions during a meeting at the Grand Pacific Hotel, Suva.

The Prime Minister said Mr Connor would now lead the Secretariat that was established at the Ministry of Economy on Level Nine of Suvavou House, Suva.

Mr Bainimarama welcomed the new executive director and called for total co-operation and constant contact between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the COP23 Secretariat.

He looks forward to seeing Mr Connor’s leadership because of his previous role and for building the Climate Institute into an organisation that is respected by governments and the business community for its climate policy.

“He has now brought those skills to Fiji and it is to him that you will report on every aspect of COP and through him to the Minister Responsible for Climate Change – the Attorney-General – and me as COP president,” Mr Bainimarama informed the Heads of Missions.

He informed the single head of mission and every Fijian diplomat to make the Oceans Summit and COP their top priority and work through the channels that have been established such as in the case of COP, John Connor and his team.

Mr Bainimarama said the Fijian Government was also building a grand coalition across the world of governments, civil society and the private sector to uphold the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

This is being looked into by the incoming President Mr Bainimarama and Climate Champion, Minister Inia Seruiratu.

Through this, the Prime Minister has appointed Amena Yauvoli as a special representative, on secondment from the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

“We are building a grand coalition in the Pacific of governments, civil society and the private sector to form a collective Pacific Islands position to take to Bonn,” the PM said.

He said Mr Yauvoli would work through the directions of Mr Connor, out of the COP Secretariat to assemble this very special Pacific grouping, including current and former Pacific leaders.

“We want our Pacific brothers and sisters to stand shoulder to shoulder with us every inch of the way,” he said.

He said this July in Suva, October in Nadi and November in Bonn the Fijian Government would put its case to the world that the region was bearing the brunt of climate change and the Pacific must be heard.

He said the new team members were known to many while the non-Fijians members may not be familiar but they brought skills to the team that Fiji does not have, but needs.

Treat them as one of us, respect their leadership and expertise,” the PM said.

“I always say that we need to hire the best people we can find, irrespective of where they come from, and this applies most of all to COP 23.

“This is the biggest thing we have ever done and time is getting away from us and together, we can do the best we can for ourselves and the billions of other vulnerable people around the world.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj

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