Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
3rd December 2011, Durban, South Africa: As the fate of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) a key deliverable 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 hangs in the balance Fiji has made an impassioned appeal that the fund be quickly operationalized and in the process won acclaim for its thoughtful intervention.1
Speaking at emergency talks this morning chaired by COP17 President Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the South African foreign minister the Alternative Head of Fiji’s Delegation and Permanent Secretary for Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment Mrs. Taina Tagicakibau told COP that Fiji,
“Speak in solidarity with the Alliance of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS) position in support of the GCF. Madam President let me state at the outset that GCF is a disaster/emergency fund and it has to be operationalized now as a matter of urgency for the world is already being seriously impacted by climate change.
In this regard Madam President, the positions expressed all around in this Session could make words like empty shell or empty purse no longer relevant and Fiji is hopeful for a positive outcome here in Durban.
Madam President, on some specifics we note and appreciate that fiduciary standards, accountability and governance have been included as operational requirements and it has also provided for ‘direct access’ which is particularly useful for Developing Countries without technology capacity and other pressures to deal with complex/rigorous processing requirements often associated with such development funds.
Madam President, Fiji also welcomes the requirement for the GCF to be mindful of national plan and operate in complementarity with other funding instruments and institutions as these create efficiency in its operation. Madam President, whilst mindful of certain concerns our Delegation is hopeful that the transformational nature of the fund will allow it to deal with these as it progresses.
In conclusion Madam President, Fiji endorses the draft Instrument and recommends its adoption here in Durban.
Thank you Madam President . We have Madam President, trust and confidence in your leadership.”
Following Ms. Tagicakibau’s remarks, the representatives of the EU at the session approached the Fiji delegation and voiced their appreciation for her contribution.
Meanwhile the European Union itself wants the Green Climate Fund board to start working as soon as next year. "In the context of a satisfactory outcome on the green climate fund as well as the overall package from Durban, we want to see the board start as early as 2012," said the chief climate negotiator for the EU and Poland Tomasz Chruszczow.
The Fiji Delegation to COP17 is led by the Permanent Secretary for Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment, Mrs. Taina Tagicakibau and includes the Acting Deputy Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation Mr. Penijamini Lomaloma, Ambassador Peceli Vocea Fiji’s Ambassador to the EU, Director Environment Mr. Jope Davetanivalu, Director Meteorology Mr. Alipate Waqaicelua, Deputy Permanent Representative of Fiji to the UN Mr. Luke Daunivalu, 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 Churchs including Fiji’s High Commissioner to South Africa Mr. Ben Salacakau. The Minister for Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment Colonel Samuela Saumatua will be joining the Delegation later when the Higher Level Sessions begin the following week.
(Photo caption: Ms. Tagicakibau speaking on the GCF)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji