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I want to say how gratified and pleased I am as incoming COP president at the overwhelmingly positive comments I have received from so many of you about this Pre-COP.
Inspired by Fiji's Presidency of COP23, the Fijian Government, with the support of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF), will bring renewable energy to eligible rural communities across the country.
We also know that when women are well represented in decision-making processes, their ability to share skills and knowledge strengthens our collective effort to face the challenge of climate change.
We can no longer ignore this crisis. Whether it is fires in California, Portugal and Spain. Flooding in Nigeria, India and Bangladesh. The dramatic Arctic melt. Ice breaking off the continent of Antarctica. The recent hurricanes that devastated the Caribbean and the southern United States.
The Fijian COP23 Presidency created this innovative gathering in order to bring together representatives of all the local, regional and international players to move this process forward. This is what we mean by the Grand Coalition that we are helping to build to enable us to stay within the 1.5 degrees. We are bringing together those who have the power to deliver our objective.
I’ve taken on the COP23 Presidency, because we cannot sit idly by while industrialised nations continue to make this crisis even worse. And I will be demanding bold and decisive action on this issue in Bonn this November, as we seek the full implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
My Government, through the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, shares WOWS’ commitment to easing the burden of cancer and supporting families. In 2016, the Ministry of Health, with the Fiji Cancer and WOWs Kids, signed the World Cancer Declaration, with the goal of reducing the preventable mortality rate of cancer patients in Fiji.
As a government, we saw clearly what needed to be done to modernise our economy and we’ve made it happen, but we aren’t resting on our laurels. We see what still remains undone to take Fiji into an even more prosperous future, and we are ready to do what is necessary to embrace new and better opportunities. That is what gatherings such as this are all about.
Every day as a Fijian in America, your pride is a testimonial for our country. The smiles that you share with neighbours can turn into diplomacy. Your words and cherished memories can be converted into increased tourism and investment. And most importantly, your pride in our shared identity as Fijians brings our entire Fijian family closer together.
As we celebrate 47 years of Independence, let’s all remember that our mission is never over and we must keep Fiji moving forward. We must stay unified, one nation and one people, dedicated to realising a brighter future.
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