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By the time we reconvene for the UN Secretary General’s Summit in September, the majority of the world’s countries must come with realistic and concrete plans for three things: for their next round of NDCs in 2020, for halving emissions by 2030 and for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. We cannot accept anything less. I’ve seen with my own eyes the devastation of the climate impacts already upon us. If we fail, those impacts will grow far more severe, inflicting unparalleled suffering on humanity, not only in Fiji, not only in the Pacific, but on every person, everywhere on the planet.  
The goal of the Paris Agreement is to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Following the release of IPCC’s report last year, we now know just how much that half a degree matters. For Fiji, as a champion nation for vulnerable people the world over, we know that when it comes to accessing clean water, that half a degree difference in global temperature can mean the very difference between life and death for millions of people.  
Ladies and gentlemen, today we are here to enter into another milestone project, that of constructing a Veterinary Teaching Hospital. A Veterinary Teaching Hospital plays an important role in providing hands on practical experience to veterinarians of tomorrow on how to handle animals and treat them. But it’s not an easy task to establish a teaching hospital as such. It’s easy to construct a building. But we need the right equipment’s and specialists, interns, experts in fields from anesthesia to specialized medicines.  
Riverbank erosion is becoming prevalent in Fiji, threatening communities living along the river systems. For all of you living here in Nadaro, it’s dire and intervention is necessary to address river bank erosion. Nadaro Village is surrounded by Waisere Creek, with the village boundary fixed to the meandering feature of the creek. As such during the period of peaks flows flood water flows towards the village, causing scouring at the foot of the bank leading to destabilization and eventual erosion of the bank. The eroding of Waisere Creek bank poses an imminent threat to the Nadaro Village. 
Although significant resources have been dedicated to programmes aimed at increasing women’s political leadership and participation, progress has been rather slow in the Pacific Region since we gained independence from our colonial masters decades ago. For example, the Pacific region has found it challenging to reach targets of even 10 percent women’s representation in Parliament. Only in January 2016 was the first woman elected President of a Pacific country, Dr. Hilda Heine, in the Republic of Marshall Islands.  
Under this Government, we have seen improved changes in the overall administration of our country. Fiji’s economy had grown to a level never achieved before by previous governments. We have witnessed various infrastructural developments and upgrades. We have introduced new policies and initiatives to benefit the ordinary Fijians. We have made new bilateral agreements and strategic international friendships and witnessed first-hand the support of our partner nations in moving this country forward.  
As a demonstration of our obligation to the boxing fraternity, the Ministry of Youth and Sports is working on the upgrade of the old PWD Boxing Gym “the home of amateur boxing in Fiji” in Walu Bay. This we hope to have it completed and ready by the middle of the year. 
I applaud the works and efforts of the Board and those at the helm of the Association in steering the wheel to where you are today, another milestone where not only are we having members, with its numbers growing but to actually having them registered. There is realization of what had been mapped out to fulfil the requirements of establishing the Association, to seeing that it will now run the course that the Association had envisioned.
coastal erosion and inundation aren't new, however, what makes it worse is its magnitude and the fact that it is happening more often and is expected to become increasingly common. Coastal/beach erosion is a function of rising sea level, degradation of the reef systems, anthropogenic activities along the coasts, and other associated climate change impacts. Tackling issues around coastal erosion are an enormous undertaking. It’s our efforts versus nature.  
The ‘National Coconut Day’ provides us with an opportunity to celebrate but also to promote, create interest in, and strengthen the ailing Fijian coconut industry. 
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