21st June, 2012: Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama today addressed world leaders at the Rio+20 United Nations conference, highlighting the significant challenges and threats of climate change.
The head of government is leading a government delegation to the conference which is currently underway in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Prime Minister Bainimarama while highlighting the measures implemented by government to combat climate change, also touched on the challenges facing Fiji as a ‘Small Island Developing State or SIDS’.
“Recent global developments, such as the financial, fuel, and food crises have served to underscore this reality, particularly as we move forward together in facing the adverse impacts of climate change, climate variability, and rising sea levels. Our vulnerabilities have increased, whilst our capacity to cope has not”, the Prime Minister said.
“As a small island nation, Fiji continues to face significant and mounting challenges, amongst other things, safe energy supplies; biodiversity; and disasters related to climate change”.
He also called on “the world’s most advanced nations” to assist small island nations in “addressing matters of environmental and economic development and security”.
“More frequent and more powerful cyclones touch our shores every year, resulting in flooding that destroys homes, crops, and spreads disease. These disasters have severe implications for our natural resources, economy, and primary industries. In the face of these challenges, Fiji is taking a stand, leading the Pacific in combating climate change with concurrent sustainable economic development”, the Prime Minister said.
“We also have established mechanisms that contribute to addressing issues identified by regional policies. Fiji has been asked to share its expertise in managing ozone depleting substances with other Pacific island nations, as my Government is focused on developing realistic and effective climate change policies that make sense in our own, unique context”.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji