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FIJI OUTLINES VISION FOR COP23 PRESIDENCY

New York
Friday, May 19, 2017

Fiji’s formal vision for its presidency of COP23 - the ongoing UN climate negotiations - has been unveiled in a speech in Bonn, Germany, to representatives of almost 200 countries by the Prime Minister and incoming COP president, Frank Bainimarama.

The Prime Minister described it as a vision that is inclusive and very much focuses on maintaining the momentum for the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. It also accelerates climate action for all vulnerable societies, drawing on Fiji’s own experiences as a Small Island Developing State in the Pacific. 

The formal text is as follows:

“Acknowledging the important leadership roles of past COP Presidencies in laying the foundation for a robust COP23, Fiji's vision for COP23 is:

To advance the work of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and preserve the multilateral consensus for decisive action to address the underlying causes of climate change, respecting climate science.

To uphold and advance the Paris Agreement, ensure progress on the implementation guidelines and undertake consultations together with the Moroccan COP22 Presidency to design the process for the Facilitative Dialogue in 2018.

To build greater resilience for all vulnerable nations to the impacts of climate change, including extreme weather events and rising sea levels; to enable access to climate adaptation finance, renewable energy, clean water and affordable climate risk and disaster insurance; and to promote sustainable agriculture.

To forge a grand coalition to accelerate climate action before 2020 and beyond between civil society, the scientific community, the private sector and all levels of government, including cities and regions. I repeat: We are all vulnerable and we all need to act.

To harness innovation, enterprise and investment to fast track the development and deployment of climate solutions that will build future economies with net zero greenhouse gas emissions, in an effort to limit the rise of global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

To draw a stronger link between the health of the world’s oceans and seas and the impacts of, and solutions to, climate change as part of a holistic approach to the protection of our planet.

To infuse COP23 with the Fijian “Bula Spirit” of inclusiveness, friendliness and solidarity and promote the Pacific concept of talanoa. This is a process of inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue that builds empathy and leads to decision making for the collective good. It is not about finger pointing and laying blame but is about listening to each other, learning from each other, sharing stories, skills and experiences. By focusing on the benefits of action, this process will move the global climate agenda forward.”

The Prime Minister said that while his role as COP president was to be impartial and act in the collective interests of all nations, he would certainly bring his own perspective to the negotiations in Bonn in November.

“It is that of a Fijian, a Pacific Islander, who comes from a region of the world that is bearing the brunt of climate change. Whether it is the rising seas, extreme weather events or changes to agriculture, that threaten our way of life and in some cases, our very existence”.

 

“We who are most vulnerable must be heard, whether we come from the Pacific or other Small Island Developing States, other low lying nations and states or threatened cities in the developed world like Miami, New York, Venice or Rotterdam. But together we must speak out for the whole world - every global citizen - because no-one, no matter who they are or where they live, will ultimately escape the impact of climate change,” the Prime Minister said.

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