Fijian PM congratulates Palau on self governance anniversary

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has sent a congratulatory message to the President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau Jnr, on the 21st anniversary of Palau’s self-governance.

In congratulating  Remengesau, Prime Minister Bainimarama said that Fiji and Palau share the potential to “strengthen our bilateral ties across a broad front”.

The Prime Minister also used the occasion to speak broadly about the collective stand that Pacific leaders should take in the lead up to the Climate Change Summit in Paris later this year.

“We share a particular concern, as Pacific nations, about the impact on our islands and way of life of rising sea levels and extreme weather events caused by climate change. We especially seek Palau’s assistance as we take those collective concerns to the forthcoming United Nations Climate Conference in Paris at the end of November,” PM Bainimarama said.

“Fiji - with the other Pacific nations - intends to lead the campaign in Paris to alert the world to the threat we face and I appeal to you personally to lend your fullest support to this endeavour. I look forward to working with you and the other island leaders to make our voices heard on this issue of utmost gravity for our survival and wellbeing.”

“I look forward to working with you and the other island leaders to make our voices heard on this issue of utmost gravity for our survival and wellbeing.”

The Prime Minister highlighted that the Suva Declaration issued at the end of the recent Pacific Islands Development Forum in Fiji calls on the industrialised nations to embrace deep and binding cuts in carbon emissions to limit the effects of global warming.

“We strongly believe that this is the only way to avert disaster for low-lying coastal areas throughout the region and, indeed, the submergence of three of our fellow countries - Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands.”

"I also want to thank Palau for the strong support it is already providing in regional and global forums to secure the preservation of our natural resources and especially our fisheries,” said PM Bainimarama.

Meanwhile, strengthening bilateral relations between Fiji and Thailand dominated talks held this week between the Prime Minister Bainimarama and his Thai counterpart, General Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The two Heads of Governments met at the United Nations headquarters in New York where they agreed that relations between the two countries must be strengthened.

The meeting was an opportunity for the Fijian Prime Minister to personally congratulate the Thai PM on Thailand’s election as Chair for the Group of 77 and China for the year 2016. It was also an opportunity for Bainimarama to thank Prime Minister Prayut for his government’s participation at this year’s Pacific Islands Development Forum through the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, General Tanasak Patimapragorn.

He said that the Suva Declaration, born out of this year’s PIDF, contains the key climate change objectives for Pacific islands ahead of the climate change summit in Paris later this year.

Bainimarama also extended his sympathy and condolences for the families of those that lost their lives during the recent bombing tragedy that struck Bangkok.

Prime Minister Prayut, undertook to give positive consideration to Thailand’s support for Fiji’s bid to be a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (2018-2020) and to fill the office of President of the General Assembly's 71st Session.

The two heads of governments agreed to work closely in the area of ensuring the success of the Sustainable Development Goals, noting their joint interest in the implementation of SDG14, the sustainable goal to ensure the Oceans’ health.