HomeMedia CenterDirectoryFiji LawsPolicy & DevBudgetVacancyAbout Fiji
Latest newsRSS


Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,


1.0 Ni sa bula vinaka, and I extend to you on behalf of my Government and the People of Fiji our warmest greetings.

2.0 As you know, Fiji is the first Small Island Developing State to chair the UNFCCC COP process.

3.0 We are proud to be entrusted with this task and are committed to carrying the Paris Agreement through to a successful implementation.

4.0 As the leader of a vulnerable nation, I intend to speak on behalf of communities that are vulnerable all over the world to the disastrous consequences of climate change. From small islands like Antigua and Barbuda, to larger economies like Nigeria, India, Texas, and Florida.

5.0 Addressing climate change is at the heart of our common future. This is why the Paris Agreement is so important. We all must continue to create prosperity and to ensure the wellbeing of the nations and ecosystems of the world.

6.0 To do this, we must work together. There is opportunity for growth in the transformation we must make away from carbon. I have learned of many examples of brilliant innovation in technology that provide hope and excitement.

7.0 Our job as the COP23 Presidency is to help the Parties to accelerate climate action for around the world. That is an ambition I think you can share.

8.0 With this in mind, I would like to describe for you Fiji's priorities for its role as incoming President of COP23. We have 5 key priorities for COP23:

1. Showcasing best practice for transformative climate action and enhanced ambition. This takes two forms -- designing the Facilitative Dialogue and building the Grand Coalition for Action. First, we will design the Facilitative Dialogue in the spirit of Talanoa, which is a Pacific word that means a sharing of ideas to resolve problems and build and maintain relationships. We welcome our close partnership with the Government of Morocco and look forward to successful Co-Leadership with Poland.

2. Second, we are helping to build and mobilize a Grand Coalition of climate action leadership at every level of government, the private sector, civil society and ordinary citizens around the globe. These two facilities will help to showcase and share proven and emerging best practices for transformative action towards the Paris 1.5ºC goal. Because they will extend our knowledge of what is possible, they should spur nations to adopt more ambitious NDCs after 2018.

3. Doing our part to make the Paris Agreement fully operational. Much like the Lima COP outcomes were crucial in positioning the Paris COP for success, the Fijian COP outcomes will be crucial in positioning COP24 in Poland for success, when the detailed Implementation Guidelines are due to be adopted.

4. Thus we intend to push the parties at COP23 towards adopting text (or steps) in a draft form that clearly shows the way to agreement on a package of decisions in 2018 and the structure of the Guidelines.

5. Ensuring that benefits of action are shared with those who are traditionally relatively marginalised. By this we intend to adopt the first Gender Action Plan and operationalise the Gender and Local Communities and Indigenous People's (LCIP) Platform.

6. Taking care of the most vulnerable. Through our focus on adaptation and resilience and the agreed Loss and Damage mechanisms, we want to see clear progress in replenishing the Adaptation Fund and providing a pathway for the Adaptation Fund to serve the Paris Agreement, as well as the launching of the Clearing House for Risk Transfer under the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM).

7. Strengthening the link between ocean health and climate action. As the first small island state to hold this role, we are keen to develop a pathway through 2020 that strengthens the ocean-climate linkage by highlighting the role of oceans in existing negotiating items and the Action Agenda, and by building support for a more integrated programme of work.

9.0 This is where we are taking the COP, and I of course value and welcome your guidance, suggestions and insights throughout this process.

10.0 We have been finalising design and construction details for the Fiji Pavilion, which is being mostly supported by the German government. I look forward to welcoming many of you there.

11.0 I'm looking forward to the Bonn zone being a great example of the grand coalition in action. All the organisations who take the goals of the Paris agreement seriously will be represented with displays in their pavilions as well as exhibitions and side events to show the importance of our collective climate challenge.

12.0 The Fijian and German teams are also working with civil society organisations for a space in the Exhibition area of the Bonn zone where leading efforts of non-party actors in our respective regions can be highlighted - another opportunity to showcase the grand coalition in action.

13.0 Back home, our preparations are advanced for the Pre-COP to be held in Nadi on 17 and 18 October. There's been significant interest from many countries to attend this normally small gathering, so we'll be working creatively to ensure that we get maximum value from this important political ministerial dialogue.

14.0 Finally, in addition to the Pre-COP, the COP23 presidency team is hosting a Partnership Day for invited guests on 16 October 2017 in advance of the Pre-COP. The objective of the Partnership Day is to build on the outcomes of the Climate Action Pacific Partnership (CAPP) Conference held in Suva July 2017, the UNFCCC Climate Action Agenda, and on international efforts to help build a grand coalition for climate action.

15.0 This is an opportunity to highlight best practices, examine potential transformative innovations and develop productive processes – providing valuable inputs into the work of the Presidency, not just for COP23 in November, but for the rest of 2018 and beyond.

16.0 I will be counting on all your support for the success of COP23.

Vinaka vakalevu and thank you.

© 2018 Ministry of Communications