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New York
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
The European Union will provide its support to Fiji when it assumes the Presidency of COP23, the UN negotiations on climate change, in November this year.

This was communicated to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama by the EU Council president Donald Tusk when the two held bilateral talks this morning at the margins of 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly.

In thanking the EU for its support to Fiji, Prime Minister Bainimarama also updated Mr Tusk on the progressive steps currently being taken in the lead up to COP23. He highlighted Fiji's role in showcasing best practices for transformative climate action, which includes helping to build and mobilise a grand coalition for climate action amongst every level of government, the private sector, civil society and ordinary citizens. He also discussed how to design the facilitative dialogue in order to resolve problems and to build and maintain relationships. 

"These two pillars will help to showcase best practices for transformative action to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. This would require holding the rise in the global average temperature to well below 2ºC and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels," the Prime Minister told Mr Tusk. 

A key area discussed today was the vulnerability of small island developing states to the severe effects of climate change. Pointing to recent climate related events, including Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in the Caribbean and southern United States, the PM urged for greater cooperation amongst nations to address climate change. 

"As I have said previously, with climate change we are all in the same boat. To deal with the climate crisis, it is obvious that we need to cooperate, to learn from each other and to do whatever we can with our considerable resources to advance our collective prosperity and wellbeing. If we view this as some sort of negotiation where the goal is to preserve the narrow national interests of each country, we will all be powerless to protect our own people from the consequences of climate change. Instead, it is only through cooperation and collective action that we will be able to achieve our national objectives and preserve the wellbeing of our people.” 

While the PM is in New York leading Fiji's delegation to this year's General Assembly, he will also officiate at several climate-related events as incoming President of COP23.


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