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A-G To Lead Second Oceans Talks

Established in 1999 the Alliance of Small Island States is an intergovernmental organization of low-lying coastal and small island countries.
10 Nov 2021 16:39

Attorney-General and Minister Responsible for Climate Change Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum will lead another bilateral meeting with the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) chair today in the hope of finding a middle ground.  

This comes after Antigua and Barbuda (AnB) refused to accept Fiji’s proposal on oceans.

A flurry of emails expressing concerns by both parties have been exchanged.

EMAIL FROM ANB

Yesterday morning, Diann Black-Layne, the Ambassador for Climate Change and lead negotiator for Antigua and Barbuda, wrote in an email:

“Antigua and Barbuda apologises for not being in the rooms when Fiji made the proposal on oceans. This is due to delegation illness as well as busy negotiations.  Antigua and Barbuda do not agree with any program large or small on ocean here at the UNFCCC.     

“We also do not agree with assigning oceans to ministerial coordination.  There are lots of other processes where this can be properly addressed, and this should be taken up there.

“AnB have a small delegation at most COPS and we cannot come prepared to engage on all of the already wide UNFCCC items and then add oceans. 

“Please note this is guidance from our Capital. AnB is asking that over the next few days we will be busy with negotiations and we ask that this position be respected.”

A-G’s REPLY

In reply, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said it was with complete surprise and concern that Fiji received the email from the lead negotiator for Antigua and Barbuda.

“We do not believe this position is in the long-standing collaborative approach of AOSIS. Unfortunately, we note that Antigua and Barbuda, as chair of AOSIS, did not attend the briefing on Oceans by Fiji at the AOSIS coordination meeting. 

“Given the importance of Oceans to SIDS, it is critically important that Fiji holds another briefing opportunity, which the chair of AOSIS should attend. 

“We look forward to progressing these matters in the best spirit of AOSIS,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

Ambassador Walton Alfonso Webson the Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations is the chair for AOSIS.

Established in 1999 the Alliance of Small Island States is an intergovernmental organization of low-lying coastal and small island countries. 

AOSIS was established ahead of the Second World Climate Conference. The main purpose of the alliance is to consolidate the voices of Small Island Developing States to address global warming.

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj



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