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Fiji will Defend and Preserve the Multilateral Consensus on Climate Change


The Chief Negotiator for the Fijian COP23 Presidency, Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan, has reiterated Prime Minister Bainimarama’s recent call for preserving the multilateral consensus for decisive climate action contained in the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

The Ambassador was speaking to a gathering of global media at the latest round of UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany, where for the next two weeks nearly 200 nations are gathered to develop the guidelines needed to fully implement the landmark 2015 Agreement.

Asked about the current political environment, Ambassador Khan stressed that Fiji believes in multilateralism. “We believe it is a process that works because it is inclusive and universal. So irrespective of the position of particular countries, we believe it is very important to move the global climate change agenda forward,” she said. 

The incoming Presidency's COP23 Negotiator also explained that Fiji brings a “special awareness and consciousness” of the effects of climate change to the negotiating process, and that this in turn adds a sense of urgency that will help drive the negotiations forward.

“I think the imperative for a Small Island Developing State like Fiji is very clear when you consider our special vulnerability to climate change. We are here obviously to work very hard to ensure there is a solution for the entire world. But at the same time we believe that our special vulnerability and our experiences will give the negotiations a sensitivity to the urgency of the situation and an understanding of how climate change effects people.”

The Ambassador explained the Presidency’s job at the May meetings is to advance the implementation guidelines – known by some as the Rulebook – and lay the foundation for a more ambitious climate action in the years to come through the Facilitative Dialogue. To accomplish this, she said that Fiji would be introducing the concept of Talanoa to its consultations with parties and other stakeholders.

“Talanoa means that you sit together, you share experiences, you respect each other in the expression of different opinions, you build relationships, you settle difficulties and disputes, and during all of this you gather information. So we want to use this concept of Talanoa to listen and learn over the next two weeks and indeed beyond that,” she said.

Ambassador Khan also told the media that the Prime Minister will arrive in Bonn next week and in a speech on 18 May will outline Fiji’s expectations for the negotiations in November.

The Ambassador concluded her remarks by thanking the German Government and the Moroccan COP22 Presidency for their generous support for the incoming Fijian presidency and said that Fiji looked forward to working with them, as well as the UNFCCC and other partners, to deliver a successful COP.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, also speaking at the media conference, set the scene for the coming two weeks and reinforced the urgent need for progress in the negotiations. “Here in Bonn, we need to go from general discussions to specific elements that can lead to common understandings,” she said.

The May meetings will run from 8-18 May at the World Conference Centre in Bonn.








Suva, Fiji