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Ministry of Foreign Affairs Fiji

Fiji Urges ACP States to Continue Efforts to Call for Climate Action

 
PR98 2019 01
Minister Seruiratu delivering his statement on climate change at the ACP Council of Ministers meeting

Fiji has strongly urged countries that are members of the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States to continue to press for more action in response to the rising impacts of climate change.
 
This call was made yesterday by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Defence and National Security Hon Inia Seruiratu to Ministers from the ACP region at the 2019 ACP Council of Ministers meeting held in Brussels.
 
Speaking on behalf of the Pacific States within the ACP, Minister Seruiratu informed the Council that the Pacific Community was alarmed that their region and parts of the world are “now in the midst of a crisis that is endangering both our climate and the ocean”. He informed the Council that Pacific leaders met recently in Fiji and collectively informed the UN Secretary General His Excellency, António Guterres, when he visited Fiji on their concerns and the need for more international efforts to address this issue.
 
“In order for us to properly respond to this climate and ocean crisis, all countries must move to decarbonise and build resilience now. We need to plan for net zero emissions by 2050 and strengthen our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by 2020. It is vital for all to understand that at the moment, our collective NDCs are not on track for achieving the most ambitious of the Paris Agreement goals so crucial for the security and prosperity of our people”, Minister Seruiratu said.
 
Whilst calling for more pressing cuts to carbon emissions, Fiji’s Foreign Affairs Minister reminded the Council that “we as the family of ACP member states must call on developed and major economies alike, to halve emissions by 2030, and call for the strengthening of climate finance, including immediate replenishment of the Adaptation and Green Climate Funds.”
 
2019 ACP Council of Ministers meeting was an opportunity for the Minister Seruiratu, who is attending the Council for the first time as Fiji’s Foreign Minister, to thank the ACP for their support to Fiji’s presidency of COP23, the largest on-going UN negotiations on climate change. As the Climate Champion for the COP23 presidency, Minister Seruiratu said that the role that both the ACP and the EU played in climate discourse was important in urging all other parties to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
 
He used the example of the support by both the ACP and the EU states to the ‘Koronivia Joint Work Program’ which addresses the severe impacts that climate change would pose on food security. This program is historic because for the first time in the history of the climate negotiations, countries have reached an agreement on having agriculture in the negotiation process.
 
Minister Seruiratu also used the occasion to commend the ACP for the important role they play in maximizing awareness on the impacts of climate change in ACP countries and how these same countries are pushing for more action.

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Several members of Public Accounts Committee of the Fijian Parliament visiting Wellington this week took advantage of a visit to the Wellington City Council’s Southern Landfill yesterday to glean a few ideas for waste management in Fiji. This included the Hon. Alexander O’Connor, Assistant Minister for Health, Ratu Suliano Matanitobua, Opposition parliamentarian and Ms. Priya Chand, Parliamentary Secretary who were accompanied by the Fiji High Commission New Zealand staff.

The Southern landfill is an impressive setup particularly as it focuses on recycling and minimising the damage to the environment at the landfill.

 

Other remarkable features of the landfill were its gas collection, electricity regeneration, green waste mulching and water table management. The Hon. O’Connor, an engineer by profession, was particularly impressed and intends to develop a few ideas for the Fijian Government to consider.

 

The PAC members were invited to attend the Pacific PAC training seminar in Wellington facilitated by UNDP from the 12th to the 13th December.

The PAC members, including Deputy Chair, Hon. Mohammed Dean, MP, were hosted to afternoon tea at the Fiji Chancery.  It was an opportunity for the Parliamentarians to meet the Locally Engaged Staff at the Mission and also update the staff on the work and concerns of the Public A

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