Fiji’s preparations for its upcoming presidency at this year’s UN Climate Chance Conference (COP 23) in Bonn, Germany dominated talks between Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and China’s Special Representative of Climate Change Affairs, Mr. Xie Zhenhua, at a meeting held in Suva.
At the meeting, Prime Minister Bainimarama stressed that a key priority of the Fijian Presidency would be to bring the challenges faced by Small Island Developing States to the forefront of the upcoming negotiations.
“Fiji and the other Pacific Island nations are on the front line of the battle against climate change – bearing the brunt of its terrible impact. We do not need to be reminded of the urgent need for global action. Just over one year ago, the biggest cyclone ever to make landfall in the southern hemisphere slammed into Fiji. It killed 44 of our people, displaced many thousands of others and destroyed one third of our GDP,” said the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Bainimarama also emphasised the importance of advancing the full implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change during Fiji’s Presidency.
“I am committed to fulfilling my primary responsibility as COP 23 President, which is to advance the Rulebook and the Facilitative Dialogue. We believe that advancement of the modalities, procedures and guidelines of the Paris Agreement is critical,” he said.
The two men also discussed possible avenues of Chinese support for Fiji’s Presidency, and the Prime Minister thanked China for being the first country to provide Fiji with financial support toward its upcoming presidency last year.