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New urban agenda to advance sustainability- Fiji PM Bainimarama
4:00 pm GMT+12, 11/02/2020, United Arab Emirates

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama strongly believes that concerted efforts towards advancing the New Urban Agenda and assessing the urban development needs will undoubtedly foster a sustainable life for future generations.
 
In lending Fiji’s voice on how the Agenda can harness cities as solutions to humanity’s toughest challenges during a side-event along the margins of the 10th World Urban Forum this morning, he said the unprecedented waves of urban migration and a warming world makes cities to sit at a crossroad.
 
“If we fail to meet the challenges ahead, we’ll see cities spiral into patterns of devastating vulnerability.  Through our thoughtful and courageous pursuit of the New Urban Agenda, we can create cities that uplift people today while sustaining and safeguarding future generations,” the Prime Minister said.
 
The Agenda represents a shared vision for a better and more sustainable future. If well-planned and well-managed, urbanisation can be a powerful tool for sustainable development for both developing and developed countries.
 
Prime Minister Bainimarama said climate action and sustainable urbanisation work to the same end.
 
“Nations can’t achieve gender equity when rising seas and super-storms force citizens to forgo work to care for their children and manage their households,” he said.
 
“We cannot live healthy lives if our air is choked with pollution, our rivers and reservoirs are parched by drought and our food security is threatened by changing weather patterns.  These worsening climate impacts entrench inequality and it is the most vulnerable among us who will endure the greatest suffering.
 
“By acting on the New Urban Agenda’s high aspiration of sustainable, resilient cities, we avert a great many of these consequences.
 
“We are proving that no city is too small to serve as a beacon of sustainable progress. We know that every solution, forged at every level, can be a difference-maker in advancing the 2030 Agenda. Driven by that resolute recognition, we are confidently building strong, sustainable and inclusive Fijian cities of the future.”
 
Prime Minister Bainimarama added that Fiji will continue to listen, lead and lend our perspective in implementing the New Urban Agenda.
 
“We will continue to prove that adapting to climate impacts and slashing emissions are the surest pathway to vibrant urban economies. With every Fijian we lift from poverty, every woman leader we empower, every young person we elevate, every effort we make to strengthen our resilience and with every innovation we pioneer, we make ourselves stronger,” he said.
 
“Through this show of strength, we hope to inform and inspire the rest of the world’s work in building sustainable and resilient communities, cities, countries and a sustainable and resilient world.”
 
Meanwhile, the Bainimarama-led Government, as part of its sustainable urban development plans, is making outsized investments on durable all-weather infrastructure, stronger roads, crossings and water plants, underground electric cabling and seawalls to name just a few.
 
The government is also pursuing a Pacific-wide network of blue shipping and it is working to foster a stronger culture of communal transportation.
 
It is also regularising informal settlers on state land, granting them the peace of mind, security, and financial benefits of owning their homes.

SOURCE: FIJI GOVT/PACNEWS


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