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Suva - HQ

Small States and Vulnerable States

Mr. Chairman

Fiji believes that the extreme weather events and rising sea levels caused by climate change pose the biggest single threat to small and vulnerable states like our own. Which is why we have chosen to take a lead in global forums on this issue and are pressing home the urgency of collective action to arrest global warming.

Fiji is proud to have been the first country in the world to ratify the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and lodge the ratification instruments. We urge every country that has yet to do so to follow our lead and I am pleased to see the Commonwealth also taking a lead on this issue.
The position of Fiji and the other members of the Pacific Islands Development Forum is very simple. While we regard the Paris Agreement as an important first step, the cap on global warming that we agreed on there to arrest the negative impacts of climate change is not enough. Rather than a cap of two degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, we are pressing for a more ambitious target of a cap of 1.5 degrees.

We are convinced that this more radical course of action – necessitating deeper cuts in carbon emissions – is absolutely essential. Because the latest scientific reports on warming clearly demonstrate that a two degree cap is not enough to save us.

We are especially vulnerable in the Pacific in that three low lying countries – Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands – are destined on current projections to sink beneath the waves altogether. In Fiji’s case, we have already relocated three at-risk villages. We will need to move some more in the near future. But our biggest fear is the extreme weather events associated with global warming, of which we have had a terrifying recent experience.

Seven months ago, the biggest cyclone ever to have made landfall in the southern hemisphere slammed into Fiji with winds of more than 300 kilometers an hour. Cyclone Winston killed 44 of our people and left many thousands homeless. And it left us with a damage bill of around 1.4 billion dollars or around 30 per cent of our GDP.
Our tourism industry, which is our largest contributor to our GDP, was not severely affected as most of the properties remained intact. But as I told the General Assembly this week, we face the terrifying prospect of a single extreme weather event scoring a direct hit wiping out our economy and setting back our development for decades to come. It would also make it impossible for us to meet the Sustainable Development Goals that we have collectively promised to implement.

So I appeal to the other Commonwealth countries to heed the plea of the Pacific nations for a more ambitious cap on global warming. And to help us place this on the global agenda.

The other principle threat is to the health of our oceans and seas – the pollution, overfishing and loss of marine environments that threatens the welfare of coastal communities the world over. I ask you all to give your full support to the High Level UN Oceans Conference that Fiji and Sweden will be co-hosting in New York next June. We need urgent action to formulate a comprehensive and holistic global plan to save our oceans and seas. And Fiji believes that this is an area in which the Commonwealth can take a particular lead.

I want to acknowledge the tremendous effort already being made by the Secretary General and the Commonwealth Secretariat in pursuing these agendas. But we must all put further effort into achieving the threshold required for the Paris Agreement to come into effect by persuading those nations you have yet to do so to complete the ratification process. And I urge you to consider the merits of the Pacific call for a lower global temperature cap as we prepare for Cop 22 in Marrakesh in November.

We also need a firmer commitment from the developed world to give vulnerable nations access to the levels of funding we require to step up our adaptation and mitigation programs. And to enable us to meet our own carbon reduction targets.

Peace and Security

Mr. Chairman

Fiji welcomes the priority being given to peace and security on the Commonwealth agenda. With the increased global threat that terrorism and violent extremism presents, it is critical that the Commonwealth be seen to be doing its share to complement the work of the United Nations and in particular the Secretary General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.

For Fiji, our contribution to UN peacekeeping operations are a fundamental pillar of our engagement with the world and of our identity as global citizens. Fiji will continue to play its part in the deployment of our men and women in uniform – military and police - to UN operations. Although far removed from the immediate threat of terror ourselves in Fiji, we continue to be committed to those who are vulnerable, wherever they may be. And we urged Commonwealth member governments to continue to stress the utmost importance of concerted international collaboration to counter violent extremism. It is one of the greatest challenges ever posed to our way of life in the democracies and we must fight it for the sake of our very survival.


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June 14, 2016- Fiji's Ambassador Peter Thomson has been elected as the President of the United Nation's General Assembly's 71st Session. Ambassador Thomson's candidacy was put forward by Fiji and eleven other Pacific Small Island Developing States at the United Nations. He was in a two-way contest with Andreas Mavroyiannis of Cyprus. All 193 Member States of the United Nations were eligible to participate in the simple-majority, secret-ballot election, with the Cypriot candidate receiving 90 votes and Ambassador Thomson receiving 94 votes.

After the election Ambassador Thomson congratulated Mr Mavroyiannis for the honourable manner in which the contest had been contested. He expressed his deep appreciation to those who had given their support in today's ballot and thanked the Government of Fiji and the Pacific Small Island Developing States for putting his name forward for the Presidency. He gave special words of thanks to the hundreds of Fijians serving in the blue helmets and blue berets of UN peacekeeping in the world's trouble-spots.

Ambassador Thomson is the first national of a Pacific Island Country to be elected to the Presidency in the history of the United Nations. In his address to the General Assembly after the elections, Ambassador Thomson said he would be bringing to the General Assembly's 71st Session the international issues of importance to developing countries and the General Assembly as a whole, with special attention on the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, along with necessary action on Climate Change and Ocean issues. He said that by the end of the 71st Session, the General Assembly must be able to show real progress on all seventeen Sustainable Development Goals.

As President-elect for the 71st Session, Ambassador Thomson pledged to serve the General Assembly, "in a spirit of fidelity and commitment to the common good, always in accord with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations."



Fijis Ambassador Peter Thomson the newly elected  President of the General Assemblys 71st Session in New York.  1

Photo Caption- Ambassador Peter Thomson, Former President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and Former Fijian Diplomat Satya Nandan 


Fiji’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola is currently attending the Joint Meeting of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Council of Ministers and the ACP Minister for Foreign Affairs in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

The Ministerial meeting precedes the 8th Summit of ACP Heads of States and Governments from 31stMay to 01 June, 2016.   The Summit will be attended by Prime Minister Bainimarama who arrives in Port Moresby on Monday 30th May.

The meeting is attended by leaders from 79 member countries.

The meeting also provides the opportunity for the Fijian leaders to hold bilateral talks with the other 78 countries on issues of importance to Fiji and the group.

Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola is accompanied at the meeting by Fiji’s Ambassador to Brussels, Mr. Deo Saran, High Commissioner to PNG, Mr. Esala Teleni and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Industry and Trade.


IMG 2649

Fiji’s High Commissioner designate to India- Namita Khatri was commissioned by the President Major-General (Ret’d) His Excellency Jioji Konousi Konrote at the State house.

She began her diplomatic career as second secretary to Fiji’s Mission to the European Communities and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Belgium in 2006 where she was responsible for providing advice on trade matters in line with Fiji’s development interests.

HC Khatri was then seconded to serve as the Deputy Head of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group in Geneva in 2010.
She has also served as First Secretary in Fiji’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York in 2012 before being appointed as Deputy Permanent Representative in 2014.

Prior to her appointment as High Commissioner Ms Khatri served as Deputy Permanent Representative in Fiji’s permanent mission to the United Nations in Geneva in September 2014.

HC Khatri completed her Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand in 2000 and then did her Postgraduate Diploma (History/Politics) from the University of the South Pacific.
She has also completed her Masters of Arts in International Relations from the Australian National University and post graduate qualification in WTO Trade Law from the TMC Asser Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands.


His Excellency the President Major General Retd Jioji Konrote  and Ms Namita Khatri Fijis New High Commissioner Designate to India


Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola  officially opened Fiji’s mission in Addis Ababa.

The opening ceremony was held at the Ellily Hotel in Addis Ababa in the presence of Ethiopian Government Officials, members of the Diplomatic Corps and invited guests.


State Minister of Foreign Affairs Ato Regassa Kefale represented the Ethiopian Government. 


Minister Kubuabola said that he was honoured and grateful to the Government of Ethiopia for its support in the setting up of Fiji’s Diplomatic representation in the country which would effectively service and forge partnerships in the region.


Minister Kubuabola added that the Fijian government observed the principles of international law and respects State sovereignty and equality, abided by the principle of   “Friend to All, Enemy to None.”


“Fiji has gained international recognition in areas such as advocating strongly for Small Islands Developing States in the international arena, peacekeeping, the Chairing of the Group of 77 plus China, Presiding over the Executive Boards of UNDP, UNOPS, UNFPA, and leading the fight against climate change, Minister Kubuabola said.


“Fiji is also currently contesting the Presidency of the 71st session of the UNGA”.


Minister Kubuabola also stated that Ethiopia was strategically placed and is host to 116 diplomatic missions, regional and international organisations and that it was fitting for Fiji to be present in Ethiopia in order to reach to the rest of Africa.


Minister Kubuabola earlier in the day met with State Minister for Political Affairs Ambassador Taye Atske-Selassie and discussed Fiji’s Foreign Policy, recent political developments in the region and tropical cyclone Winston rehabilitation efforts and also utilised the opportunity to lobby for Fiji’s Presidency for 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly.


The Foreign Minister is expected to have a bilateral meeting with the African Union Chairperson – H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.


Minister Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola with State Minister of Foreign Affairs Ato Regassa Kefale representing the Ethiopian Government



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