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Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has sought new opportunities for development cooperation for Fiji at a series of meetings in Beijing with the President of the World Bank, the Chairman of the Bank of China and the President of the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank.
The talks covered infrastructure development cooperation, the growth of small and micro enterprises in Fiji and Fiji’s upcoming presidency of COP 23.
The Prime Minister reiterated Fiji’s commitment to defend and implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and forge a grand coalition to accelerate climate action between governments, civil society, the scientific community and the private sector.
Bainimarama was in China to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, a two-day infrastructure summit hosted by the Chinese Government. This year’s forum was attended by more than 100 countries and organisations.
Meanwhile, Fiji has called on world leaders to engage with Pacific island nations to address the threat of climate change in the region and to defend the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The Prime Minister led Fiji's delegation to the 'Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation' in Beijing, China and has used the occasion to highlight the need for more action on climate change and achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.
As the only Pacific Island leader present at the forum, Prime Minister Bainimarama said more needs to be done to address the impacts caused by climate on ordinary Pacific island citizens.
“We are honoured to be a voice for Pacific Island nations and small island states on the issue of climate change and of preserving our ocean resources, as we are also co-hosting the Oceans Summit with Sweden in New York next month.
We hope that this forum serves as an opportunity to widen international engagement with Pacific Island nations to drive sustainable development in a region that is particularly vulnerable to the rising sea levels and extreme weather events caused by climate change and the degradation of our ocean resources.”
Speaking on Fiji's presidency of COP23, the PM reminded world leaders present at the forum that each country needs to defend the Paris Agreement.
“I strive for a successful presidency of COP 23 not just for the sake of Fiji’s prestige. I strive for the nations of the world to succeed in our joint endeavour to save ourselves from an intolerable future. Fiji’s success will be humankind’s success. It will mean success for biodiversity, for animal and plant life on the planet.
And it will be success for the future of our children. So I appeal to the wider international community to support our presidency, given the need for a unified global defence of the agreement this year,” said Bainimarama.
SOURCE: FIJI GOVT/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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