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   Government of the Republic of Fiji

  Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service

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Media Release

Minister Saumatua Prepares to Address UN Climate Meet

Minister_Saumatua_COP17

6th December 2011, Durban, South Africa: This afternoon saw the start of the High Level Session of the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 7th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol that has been meeting in Durban, South Africa from 28th November to 9th December 2011 with over 161 world leaders and leaders of NGO’s scheduled to speak.

The meeting started this afternoon with addresses by H.E. Mr. Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, and Mr. BAN Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations. Heads of State and Governments then followed. H.E. Sprent Dabwido, President of the Republic of Nauru spoke on behalf of the Pacific Small Island Developing States which include Fiji.

The Head of the Fiji Delegation and Minister for Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment Colonel Samuela Saumatua who arrived yesterday is due to speak on Wednesday. Minister Saumatua has been receiving briefing from the other members of the Fiji Delegation led by the Permanent Secretary for Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment Mrs. Taina Tagicakibau. Yesterday Mr Saumatua joined his fellow Ministers and Heads of Delegations from the Alliance of Small Island Development States (AOSIS) to be briefed on progress of negotiations and future strategies for the upcoming Talks.

Speaking to his AOSIS Colleagues Minister Saumatua expressed his appreciation for the briefing and reminded the delegations of the enormity of the task before them and the importance of working together. Addressing the Fiji Delegation later Minister Saumatua repeated the challenge before them and the outcomes Fiji expects from the meeting.

The Fiji Delegation to COP17 is led by the Permanent Secretary for Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment, Mrs. Taina Tagicakibau and includes Ambassador Peceli Vocea Fiji’s Ambassador to the EU, Fiji’s High Commissioner to South Africa Mr. Ben Salacakau,the Acting Deputy Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation Mr. Penijamini Lomaloma, Deputy Permanent Representative of Fiji to the UN Mr. Luke Daunivalu, Director Environment Mr. Jope Davetanivalu, Director Meteorology Mr. Alipate Waqaicelua, Deputy Conservator of Forests Mr. Samuela Lagataki, Dr Helena des Combes of USP, Lami Town Council CEO Ms. Preeya Ieli, Ms. Alisi Pulini Climate Change Officer Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Mr. Peter Emberson of the Pacific Council of Church’s.

(Photo caption:Minister Saumatua)