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Fijian COP23 Chief Negotiator speaks about Integration between Climate Change, Environmental and Migration Policies




30 November 2017 – Geneva, Switzerland: The nexus between climate change, environment and migration was the topic for a High-level panel at the 108th session of the Council of the International Organization on Migration (IOM), which took place from 28 November to 1 December 2017. Almost 600 delegates representing IOM Member States and Observers, UN representatives, academia, private sector, migrants and civil society attended the event.

press release

“People should be at the center of every climate change solution.”

Ambassador Shameem Nazhat Khan, 108th IOM Council.

The Fijian COP23 Chief Negotiator and Head of Mission to the United Nations based in Geneva, Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan, spoke at the High-level panel about the importance of an integrated approach for climate change, environment and migration for an effective response to these global challenges. She informed that Fiji is preparing to face unprecedented migration waves expected in the Pacific region due to climate change and emphasized the need for a regional approach.

Ambassador Khan also briefed the delegates on the relevant outcomes of COP23, in particular those, which were people-centered. Breakthroughs in the multilateral negotiations at COP23 in areas, such as agriculture, finance for climate adaptation, gender, education and local communities and indigenous peoples led to strengthening of the peoples dimension. She said: “People should be at the center of every climate change solution”.

The delegates applauded a video fragment of 12-years old Timoci Naulusala of Navicula in Wainibuka, telling about how climate change affected his village. Timoci won a speech competition for children in Fiji and addressed the climate leaders at the opening of the High-level segment of COP23.  

Fiji is designing national relocation guidelines to ensure that internally displaced people are treated in a way that protects their rights and upholds their dignity, as those who need to leave their homes become exposed to additional risks and become even more vulnerable.

The discussions made clear that climate change is becoming a leading driver for forced migration and recognized the sad reality that the most vulnerable, who have contributed least to climate change, are impacted the worst. As neighboring states have to bear with most of the consequences of climate-related migration, migration management will benefit strongly from international and regional cooperation.


Fijian President attends State Funeral in Vanuatu


His Excellency the President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote is currently in Vanuatu representing Fiji at the State funeral for Vanuatu’s late President, His Excellency Womtelo Reverend Baldwin Lonsdale.

President Lonsdale passed away on Saturday and the State funeral is scheduled for Wednesday 21 June.

His Excellency President Konrote’s condolence message was as follows:

“I wish to express on behalf of the Fijian Government and all Fijians, as well as my own, our profound and sincere condolences and sympathies on the passing away of the President of the Republic of Vanuatu, His Excellency the late Womtelo Reverend Baldwin Lonsdale.

We were all shocked and equally saddened to learn of his passing. His Excellency the President Reverend Lonsdale had built a strong and admirable reputation as a man of high principles and integrity, who was willing to take a stand for what he believed to be right and proper, for the greater good of his country.

His death will be a huge loss to the Republic of Vanuatu, as indeed to the Pacific, and we are all the poorer with his passing.

Our deepest sympathies go to his family and to all our Wantok in Vanuatu.

With the deep bond of friendship as members of Melanesia and the wider Pacific community, Fiji and all Fijians today join Vanuatu in mourning the passing of a paragon of virtue.”

Fiji’s High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Commodore Esala Teleni is accompanying the President.

The Chief Justice, Honourable Justice Anthony Gates is acting as President until Thursday 22 June.

Fiji Deposits Ratification Documents for UN Convention on Rights of the Disabled


Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has deposited the instrument of ratification for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, formally committing Fiji before the international body to guarantee equal rights and dignity to people with disabilities.

The Prime Minister deposited the instruments at the UN Headquarters in New York during a ceremony at which he spoke of Fiji’s commitment to full equality for all citizens.

"Today marks another historic chapter for my government in our pursuit of creating equal opportunities and rights for every Fijian especially those Fijians living with disabilities,” Prime Minister Bainimarama said.

"We cannot have a progressive Fiji if one section of our community is unable to participate in this process because of their disability. We must always be inclusive if we want to progress together as a nation and today's event is a step further in realising that."

Fiji Unveils COP23 Logo

Fijian Prime Minister and incoming President of COP 23, Mr. Frank Bainimarama, launched the logo for this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference, to be held in Bonn in November. Also present at the launch was German State Secretary for the Environment, Mr. Jochen Flasbarth.

The logo that was unveiled today captures the vulnerability of small island developing states to the impacts of climate change, such as sea-level rise and increasing storm intensity.

It features an island partially submerged and a huge wave bearing down on it and aims to raise further awareness for the uncertain future that many low-lying islands, and indeed coastal zones world-wide, are facing.

The annual conference will be presided over by Fiji, hosted by the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bonn and is being made possible with generous financial support from the Government of Germany.  

The design of the logo had been the subject of a national competition in Fiji, with prizes for the winner and runners-up.  The winning design was by Mrs. Ronna Sekiguchi who runs the Green House Studios design company. There were over 80 entries with the runners up being two scholars from Adi Chakobau School and Nadli Muslim Primary.

In a speech at the award ceremony during which the logo was unveiled, Prime Minister and incoming COP23 President Bainimarama praised the many design entries received.

“This is a very stark and effective message to take to the world. The need for us all to come together to build partnerships for climate action between governments, civil society and the private sector. And work together to improve the climate resilience of vulnerable nations such as Fiji,” he said.

Mr. Bainimarama added that Fiji looked forward to the task it had been entrusted through taking on the COP23 presidency.

One priority for the incoming presidency is preserving the multilateral consensus contained in the Paris Agreement for decisive cuts in carbon emissions. Another is to keep up the momentum for its implementation with a wave of climate action that every global citizen can join. The process to arrive at the COP23 logo clearly fits this goal.

At the event, German State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth said: "I congratulate Fiji for the participative and open process to find the logo. This is the spirit we need in Bonn for COP 23. Participation and inclusiveness of all stakeholders will be key at COP 23 and gives the signal to the world that the implementation of the Paris Agreement is irreversible."








Suva, Fiji