Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has confirmed his attendance to attend the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, next week.

The Leader of Government conceded to attending the meeting in Dubai, after the Speaker of Parliament Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu and the Leader of the Opposition Inia Seruiratu pleaded with the Prime Minister to attend the high-stake level meeting.

Ratu Naiqama said the Prime Minister’s attendance would highlight the plights of Small Island States that are sinking and Fiji’s Pacific neighbours that are suffering due to climate change.

Ratu Naiqama indicated that he and his delegation were willing to step down to allow the Prime Minister to take charge and highlight the climatic issues that plagues Small Islands States now.

“It is now or never, Prime Minister. We need you to attend this meeting to highlight our plights. Our islands are sinking!”

“I plead very strongly to you and to your office and that our plea does not fall on deaf ears, Prime Minister,” Ratu Naiqama said.

Responding to the Prime Minister’s Ministerial Statement on his recent trip to San Francisco for the APEC Leaders Meeting hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden, Seruiratu highlighted how worrisome that the Prime Minister intention not attending this year’s COP 28 Meeting.

Seruiratu said this is a responsibility that the Prime Minister cannot and should not delegate.

He said that the Prime Minister needs to take the bull by its horn and lead our region.

The Opposition leader said this is an existential threat that is the biggest worry, not only for the region but also Small Island States.

He said, how can there be peace in the region if we are threatened – And this is what the Prime Minister is to take to the COP Meeting.

“Human Rights are about life, the right to life, something we all need to fight for,” Seruiratu added.