The recent UN Secretary-General’s report sets out our common agenda, for a better, greener and safer future for all, and the Prime Minister of Fiji, Josiah V. Bainimarama, outlines what this vision means for his country.
“We want an island inhabited by citizens who stand with nature and not against it. We want sustainable economic growth that is driven by clean energy and protected from the effects of climate change. We want strong and resilient health care, and we want good jobs and incomes supported by the green and blue economy.
Fiji: ‘new frontier of cooperation’
However, the world is on a path that is pushing the future further out of reach, he warned. The new coronavirus is “burning through humanity like a fire এবং and inequality is igniting flames of fire”, while climate-driven disasters such as floods, heat waves, fires and cyclones have killed hundreds of people this year and caused extensive damage.
“If we have a chance to avoid future epidemics or the catastrophic effects of climate change, we must find new frontiers of cooperation,” he said. Bainimarama said in a pre-recorded statement.
“If small states are to go green, blue, and better, we need an equal voice and we must vote on decisions that determine our future. Small states listen, understand and act in our best interests.”
The full statement is here.
Vanuatu: Jobs at risk
Just weeks after the declaration of the epidemic in March 2020, Tropical Cyclone Harold hit Vanuatu, wreaking havoc on the islands before hitting the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Tonga.
Like many Pacific island nations, Vanuatu was able to take control of the Covid-11 by taking rapid lockdown measures, but these have “crippled” the local economy, Prime Minister Bob Loffman Weber said in his pre-recorded speech.
The rapid closure of the country’s international borders means “moving from a health threat to an economic emergency,” he said, adding that many businesses, especially those that rely on tourism, have effectively closed.
“No tourist arrivals and fewer residential communities immediately affect the hospitality and construction sector, putting at least 1,000,000 formal jobs at risk and affecting the livelihoods of thousands of people in the informal sector. For more than a thousand licensed handicraft artisans, their income has come down to close to zero.
The full statement is here.
Tonga’s sea level is expected to rise
Although it remains Covid-1 free, Tonga has demonstrated its commitment to multilateralism. Prime Minister Pohiva Tuyontoa has expressed sympathy and solidarity with the countries that have lost their citizens to the disease as they face “unprecedented natural disasters and other tragedies”.
Tonga, with a population of about 105,000, has been vaccinated through the Global Solidarity Initiative, Kovacs. About one-third of the total population has been vaccinated to date, and the goal is to reach 70 percent by the end of next year.
But the Prime Minister noted that Tonga has been identified as the second most vulnerable country in the world in terms of natural disasters such as cyclones, floods and sea level rise. Therefore, meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which seeks to limit global warming to 1.5.5 degrees pre-industrial levels, although the country’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions is negligible.
“If countries fail to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, presenting a high-emission scenario, it will probably increase sea level averages – five times less than non-mission emissions, and it is not a substitute for Tonga in particular and small island states in the Pacific and the rest of the world.” , ”He said.