The Fijian government has called on the Pacific Leaders to lend their “unyielding support and leadership” to help make the upcoming COP23 in Bonn, Germany, a success.
The call was placed by Fijian Defense and Immigration Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, who was in Apia last week for the 48th Pacific Island Forum Leaders Meeting. He was sent in place of Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, who has not been to the Forum meeting since Fiji was suspended.
The 23rd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 23) will have Fiji presiding as Chair with support from Germany.
The conference in November is expected to draw nearly 20,000 participants from government, intergovernmental organisations, U.N. agencies, N.G.Os and civil society.
Speaking in Apia, Mr. Kubuabola said: “The common question I’ve been asked is: how can you as leaders support Fiji in this largest ever diplomatic role my P.M. is taking as COP23 President in November?”
“My response is simple. Fiji needs you.
“There are three overarching issues that Fiji is focusing. The first one is the 2020 Pathway for Accelerated Climate action. We want to forge a grand coalition between governments, civil society, the scientific community and the private sector to accelerate climate action and strengthen resilience of most vulnerable nations to climate change emphasizing NCD’s investment and implementation.”
Fiji’s core goal is to facilitate dialogue.
“The dialogue will situate the Paris Agreement in a manner that is agreed to by all parties and Fiji is in that.
“Failing that it might risk the opportunity for the Paris Agreement to proceed that is our number priority for the Presidency to get the facilitated dialogue... this is important because our negotiators are still negotiating the various aspects of the chapters Agreement.
“Which will need to be endorsed by all parties as well and that leadership component alone is a big one for the Presidency.
“From experience we know it’s not easy and we would like to really to ensure that we can get the support of the Pacific Leaders, to get the Paris Agreement right.”
The Fiji Ambassador for Climate Change and Oceans, Amena Yauvoli, emphasized that while Fiji is at the helm of COP23, they will not negotiate on behalf of the Pacific.
“We are the President, we can’t negotiate for you.
“We can provide leadership, it is a process management role but the negotiations will have to be done by members through our Pacific Small Islands Developing states (P.S.I.D.S) chair for PSIDS and AOSIS through AOSIS Chair which is Maldives and through G77 chair for those of us who are members of G77.
“So it is important to draw that distinction. Whilst our endeavor is trying to bring key messages and key issues to go to COP23 ultimately the call for leadership is very. very important here to take these issues forward.
“We will provide the leadership but the ultimate reality negotiations are done by parties not the President. We are asking for leaders through your national delegations to help us identify issues to champion and advance these key priorities.”