Solomon expects top representation at COP23


President, the Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama meets and updates Pacific leaders at a meeting in the margins of this year’s 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), last week in New York. Photo courtesy of Fiji Sun

THE country expects a top representation at the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bonn, Germany in November.

This will differ from previous COP as Fiji attain the COP23 presidency and wants pacific top leaders to consider COP23 as Pacific COP.

Fiji Prime Minister and incoming President of COP23 Frank Bainimarama told Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and other pacific leaders that he wants fellow Pacific leaders to be there with him so that it really is a Pacific COP.

A meeting with pacific leaders held on the margins of this year’s 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last week, the meeting saw the PM Bainimarama reminding the leaders on the importance of a collective commitment in addressing the threats of climate change.

The Fiji Sun reports Prime Minister Bainimarama updated leaders on both the pre-COP meeting that is scheduled to take place in October in Nadi this year and the main COP23 event in Bonn, Germany in November.

“For us to tell our stories. And for you to be part of that process,” he said.

“I very much see this as a Pacific presidency – an inclusive process in which I ask you all to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Fiji as we give voice to the concerns of our own countries, our own region.

“So please give me your complete support so that we make COP23 really an event to remember and one that benefits each and everyone of us and the people who look to us for leadership.”

Prime Minister Sogavare during his address at UNGA said: “The horrors of the impact of a nuclear attack are undeniable but the slow onset caused by the adverse impact of climate change in Solomon Islands is just as cruel.

In a statement, Sogavare said Climate Change is the Pacific’s “number one enemy” and calls on the United States President Donald Trump to reconsider America’s position on the Paris Climate Accord.

The Prime Minister said an unstable climate and the subsequent displacement and relocation of people can exacerbate some core drivers of conflict – such as migratory pressures, clash of cultures and competition for resources.

These are threats to the very existence of humanity and could very well result in threats to global peace and security and this is why the Pacific Small Island Developing States have been requesting the Security Council to also address the issue of climate change.

Sogavare told world leaders that the building of sea walls and wave breakers, to mitigate some of the impacts caused by climate change, while useful is nothing more but a mere band aid solution.

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