Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
27th January 2012, Nadi : This afternoon the inaugural meeting of the MSG Environment & Climate Change Ministers which had been meeting for two days at the Tanoa Hotel in Nadi ended with the Ministers agreeing to work closely as they address the effects of Climate Change. Countries attending were PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, FLNKS (New Caledonia) and Fiji.
The meeting under the theme, 'Environment, Climate Change & Environment’, was co-sponsored by the Fijian Government, IUCN & GIZ and chaired by the Minister forEnvironment Mr Samuela Saumatua.
Speaking after the signing of the Official Record of the Meeting Minister for Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation and Minister in charge of Climate Change in Fiji Ratu Inoke Kubuabola said:
“This meeting is timely, and from the interventions made over the course of this meeting, it is quite clear that there is a genuine seriousness regarding the impact of climate change on poor and vulnerable countries.
I would like to extend my appreciation to the participants for injecting and maintaining a sense of urgency and heightened awareness about the issue before us.
What has emerged from their input is that it is incumbent on all of us to act, and to act now, if we hope to arrest the devastating consequences of climate change on the livelihoods of millions of people, especially those who live in the Small Island Developing States.
Citizens from small island nations in the Pacific Ocean have known for decades that their geographic isolation, heavy coastal infrastructure, population dispersion across many islands, and low-lying atolls only meters above sea level make them the most vulnerable countries to climate change in the world.
I wish to underscore the risk of unprecedented human development reversal during our lifetime, unless urgent and timely corrective measures are taken.
As the participants so convincingly argued – climate change has far-reaching consequences, affecting economic growth, health indicators, water availability, food production, coastal erosion and poses a threat to vulnerable ecosystems.
What is also abundantly clear is that even though all countries will be affected by climate change, developing countries, especially the Small Island Developing States, where poverty and physical vulnerabilities limit the capacity to act, will be most seriously harmed.
This meeting represented the MSG’s first steps to finding solutions to difficult climate change problems rather than acting as passive or silent victims.
Now that there is the momentum to tackle climate change head-on, we at the MSG are prepared to intervene meaningfully.
A great deal of work lies ahead of us, but in order for all of us to push ahead, it is of vital importance that resources are made available as we are already disproportionately affected by climate change. “
(Photo caption: MSG Ministers signing the Meeting Official Records at the end of the meeting)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji