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Fiji’s support for multilateralism and the United Nations goes beyond climate action and the visiting Secretary General of the United Nations, used his address to the Fijian Parliament today to thank the government and the people of Fiji for global leadership – particularly on climate change and oceans.
Antonio Guterres acknowledged that while Fiji is a smaller member of the UN, it is ‘deeply engaged in efforts to secure the well-being of the world’s oceans and seas.’
“Let me also express deep appreciation to Fiji for its other contributions to the work of the United Nations. You are a steadfast contributor to United Nations peacekeeping, with many leaders that have personally served this noble cause.
Fiji is the first Pacific Island country elected to the Human Rights Council.
“And Fiji is a leading voice globally for upholding the protection of refugees. The New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants was adopted during Fiji’s Chairmanship of the General Assembly. Thank you for your stewardship.
Guterres told the Fijian Parliament the coming years will be a vital period to save the planet and to achieve sustainable, inclusive human development.
“The alarm bells keep ringing – most recently with the release by the United Nations just last week of authoritative scientific findings indicating that, and I quote, “Human actions threaten more species with global extinction now than ever before … with the great majority of indicators of ecosystems and biodiversity showing rapid decline.”
“We must address this global emergency with ambition and urgency. Every country has a role to play.
“I commend Fiji for taking on these global responsibilities with courage and conviction.”
“The oceans are warming and becoming more acidic, causing coral bleaching and reducing biodiversity. Overfishing is rampant. Pollution, especially from plastic, is further poisoning and depleting this vital resource, he said.
The world must do more to respond to the Call to Action adopted at the first Ocean Conference.
The Second Ocean Conference will be held next year in Portugal, my home – and a country which, like Fiji, has been shaped by the sea. Let us use that shared affinity to make the most of this important gathering that follows the Fijian initiative.
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