PIF strength depends on collective effort: Sogavare

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Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama at the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting.

BY CHARLES KADAMANA

In Funafuti, Tuvalu

PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare says the strength of small islands states to make an impact in international negotiation to address climate change is based on collective effort.

He made this statement in an interview after listening to Climate Change Sautalaga keynote addresses from Fiji’s Prime Minister, Tuvalu’s Prime Minister and other key speakers yesterday.

He said from the presentation of different speakers on issue of climate change the main message is for Pacific leaders to make a collective efforts to respond to climate change.

He said climate change is not a cross cutting issue but it is a cross sectoral issue that involves health, finance and environment.

He said Solomon Islands recognises climate change as the greatest threat to the future but it cannot fight it alone.

He said it takes collective effort from the Pacific to bring climate change issue to international forums and that is what will be discussed at the Pacific Islands Forum meeting.

Sogavare also reaffirmed his government’s commitment to the Blue Pacific endorsed by Forum leaders at their meeting in Samoa in 2017.

He said Blue Pacific is a cross sectoral issue that covers health of the region, economic significant and pacific values and not just confined to environment.

The Blue Pacific seeks to re-capture the collective potential of the pacific shared stewardship of the Pacific Ocean based on an explicit recognition of shared ocean identity, ocean geography, and ocean resources.

It aims to strengthened collective action as one “Blue Pacific Continent” by putting the Blue Pacific at the centre of policy making and collective action for advancing the pacific islands forum Leaders vision.

The story of climate change and the pacific is one of the extreme and intensifying threats to all aspect of life, culture and security but also a story of resilience, resolves and leadership.

For Tuvalu and other atoll islands nations of the Pacific, climate change is a matter of survival.

The Pacific leaders meeting also comes a month ahead of one of the most important moments in international climate negotiations since the Paris Agreement was finalized in 2015.

On September 23 world leaders will convene in New York for a UN climate Summit, designed to encourage as many countries as possible to strengthen their commitments to the Parish Agreement before it enters into force in 2020.