The Fiji Sun’s pick for the 2017 Persons of the Year was not difficult. They were two key players who have been central in every Fijian’s mind and were also
01 Jan 2018 12:07
From left: Timoci Naulusala addressing COP23 world leaders in Bonn, Germany and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama presiding as COP23 president.

The Fiji Sun’s pick for the 2017 Persons of the Year was not difficult.

They were two key players who have been central in every Fijian’s mind and were also acknowledged at the COP23 Meeting in Bonn, Germany, last year.

They were praised and cheered on with admiration by Fijians, small Pacific Island States and participants at the COP23 global event.

The duo – Timoci Naulusala and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama – played instrumental roles in clearly spelling out the need to reduce carbon emissions and why world leaders should join hands in the battle against the impacts of climate change.

They were firm when taking on the challenge to voice the effects of climate change to world leaders and to place Fiji prominently on the global stage once again.

These are the Fijians whom we think deserve to be the winners of the Person of the Year Award.

Timoci Naulusala, 12, said: “Climate change is like a thief in the night, it not only steals, but kills and destroys. If we don’t act now there might not be a future for the entire human race.”

From Naivicula, Wainibuka, Tailevu the young lad was in Bonn, Germany, in November at the COP23 Summit to tell his story of climate change impacts in Fiji.

He called on world leaders to commit to climate action to protect their homes, and those of all Pacific Island children.

The Fiji Sun is proud of Timoci, who had confidently represented a nation that is just a dot on the world map and his Fijian family at a conference before world leaders.

Timoci is an inspiration to young children not only in Fiji, but in the Pacific as a whole. He was definitely sensational at the meeting and Timoci’s inspiring words captured not only the attention of world leaders, but those who watched on social media, and new mediums.

It’s no easy feat for a child of his age to speak at an international forum and speak his mind.

He started at a local school oratory contest, which he won and went on to win the district and national competition.

Timoci was later invited by French President Emmanuel Macron to Paris to speak at a climate summit on December 12 after President Macron saw him speaking in Germany.

On another note the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, kept climate change talks as a priority and on the top of his agenda when he led Fiji’s presidency at the COP23 summit.

Mr Bainimarama encouraged delegates at the COP23 meet to focus on the objectives of the climate change summit and he was so passionate about climate change and the Fijian presidency of COP23.

The presidency championed the interests of the whole world, our Pacific Islands neighbours and highlighted the devastation and deaths caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston in Fiji.

Mr Bainimarama made it possible to change the talks of climate change when he introduced a new era of climate talks by holding talanoa sessions and cultural entertainment; showing the true ‘bula spirit’.

The Fijian Prime Minister once again projected his leadership qualities at international forums and was able to steer Fiji to new heights of discussions involving leading nations in the world.

Edited by Percy Kean

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