Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
20 September 2011, New York: At the United Nations today, Prime Minister Bainimarama, accompanied by Minister Joketani Cokanasiga, attended the High Level Meeting at the United Nations addressing desertification, land degradation and drought in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. The Prime Minister delivered a Fiji statement to the meeting this morning.
The High Level Meeting was organised into two panels. The afternoon panel was co-chaired by the Prime Minister of Fiji and the President of Austria, H.E. Mr Heinz Fischer. The morning panel was co-chaired by the President of Nigeria and the Prime Minister of Luxembourg.
In the Fiji statement to the High Level Meeting, Prime Minister Bainimarama said that the world would not achieve its internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs, without addressing the issues of land degradation, drought and desertification. He said that countries must focus on land use, with emphasis placed on integrated water resource management, coastal use planning and reforestation.
"We believe," Prime Minister Bainimarama said, "that we must prioritise sustainable land use, agriculture and food security as cornerstones of the Green Economy, for reasons of poverty eradication and sustainable development".
The Fiji statement called for the donor community and the United Nations system to continue to address these needs, to strengthen scientific capacity to understand and monitor, and to set a target of "zero net land degradation as a sustainable development target".
(Left to right: UN Assistant Secretary-General Gnacadja, Prime Minister Bainimarama, President Heinz Fischer)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji