22nd October 07:30 AM
PM appeals to the nations of the world to sign the Paris Agreement
By Vijay Narayan
Friday 22/09/2017
Prime Minister and incoming COP President Voreqe Bainimarama speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York [Photo: Fijian Government]

If we view this as some sort of negotiation in which each country tries to preserve its narrow national interests, we will all lose.

That was the strong statement from Prime Minister and incoming COP President Voreqe Bainimarama in the United Nations General Assembly in New York earlier today.

Bainimarama says we will be powerless to protect our own people from the consequences of climate change if we protect our narrow national interests.

He says collective action is the only way forward and he appealed to the nations of the world to sign the Paris Agreement.

Bainimarama says wise men and women will understand that.

He also says that Fijian people share a special sense of solidarity with those who either lost loved ones or their homes and possessions during Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

Bainimarama says last year we lost 44 of our own people and one third of our GDP when we were struck by the biggest cyclone ever to make landfall in the Southern Hemisphere.

Bainimarama says as incoming president of COP, he is deeply conscious of the need to lead a global response to the underlying causes of these events, and the appalling suffering in the Carribean and the US reminds us all that there is no time to waste.

He says there is no escaping the fact that climate change is a greater threat to global security as any source of conflict.

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