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Ministry of Foreign Affairs Fiji

Fiji Participates at the "Our Ocean Wealth Summit"

 
PR98 2019 01
(Pictured from left) Fiji’s High Commissioner to UK H.E Mr Jitoko Tikolevu, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean Mr Peter Thomson and First Secretary to Fiji High Commission in UK, Ms Paulini Tokaduadua, with Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Satyendra Prasad and Mr. Sanivalati Navoti from the UN Secretariat, at the Our Ocean Wealth Summit hosted this week at Cork in Ireland by the Republic of Ireland.

Fiji through its Permanent Representative in New York and Fiji’s High Commission in London, joined members of thirty-one Small Island Developing States, to represent Fiji at the “Our Ocean Wealth Summit” that was hosted this week at Cork in Ireland by the Republic of Ireland.
 
With the theme “Shared Voices from Small Island Nations”, Our Ocean Wealth Summit is Ireland’s annual flagship maritime policy event, which was attended by representatives of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), specifically from respective Permanent Representatives of Small States in New York.
 
With the leadership of Hon. Simon Coveney, Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade as well as the support by Hon. Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the summit provided an opportunity to discuss the ocean and climate-related challenges prescribed in Ireland’s new white paper on international development, “A Better World.” It also draws on Ireland’s commitment in sharing the experiences with other island nations, also known as Large Ocean States.
 
The Summit saw international experts and policy makers with political representatives of island states from across the globe, converging to address the unique challenges faced by island nations, share stories of island life and identity, and identify practical ways that island states can work together through partnership, to address potential threats, manage ocean resources and build sustainable blue economies.
 
Some of the powerful messages echoed during the Summit pertained to the need to harness “Our Ocean Wealth”, importance of capitalizing on mechanisms as such Ocean Summit for Island States to share challenges and opportunities.
 
One of the main highlights of the Summit was the milestone development and successful launch of Ireland’s Strategy for Partnership with Small Island Developing States. A unique feature of the strategy is the establishment of the “Ceili” dialogue that is drawn through the adoption of Fiji’s Talanoa concept, as an avenue to share views and as well as to strengthen collaboration.
 
Fiji like other Small Island Developing States views such tangible outcome, as reflective of the genuine commitment and interest that Ireland places to Small Island States or Large Ocean States.
 
As nobly stipulated in the Strategy, Ireland has made 10 challenging yet promising commitments with regards to forging relations and engaging with Small Island Developing States.  The strategy essentially outlines a holistic approach to deepening Ireland’s relationships with SIDS, building on the diplomatic, bilateral, multilateral, and international development links and enhancing people to people links.
 
Ireland is committed to the continuous dialogue with SIDS, specifically holding regular Ceili meetings, as well as launch a series of partnerships in cooperation with SIDS, which embodies the shared values.  Ireland is also committed to use its membership of the EU to ensure that the needs of SIDS are reflected in development cooperation, trade and other partnership arrangements.
 
In addition to the £12m Ireland Trust Fund channeled through the Asian Development Bank for Climate and Disaster resilience in SIDS, Ireland endeavours to provide all assistance in the area of Research and Development, capacity building and SIDS-related processes at the UN.  Ireland is also committed to launch a series of partnerships in cooperation with SIDS, encompassing of an Ocean Innovation Initiative and a SIDS fellowship scheme.
 
This position was further reinforced by the presence of iconic individuals including Hon. John Kerry (former US Secretary of State), UN Special Envoy for the Oceans Mr Peter Thomson, and other reputable personnel from the private sector, research institutes, NGOs and even the Civil Society, youth and women representatives.

 

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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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