“As a woman of disability, I could have never imagined that I would be sitting in this great hall, representing my country in front of the world, and representing the progress that marginalised people like I have achieved as Fiji implements its sustainable development programme.”
Lanieta Tuimabu who is the Manager of the Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation made this powerful statement at the High‑Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York.
Tuimabu who lost her eyesight to meningitis at a very young age was part of the Fijian delegation in New York that showcased its first‑ever Voluntary National Review, where discussions took place regarding the significant progress that Fiji has made in achieving a number of key goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum who delivered the national statement at the High‑Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York says there is perhaps no bigger stage than at the United Nations, and during their presentation, he was most moved by the remarks of Tuimabu who sat by his side on behalf of the Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation.
Sayed-Khaiyum says Tuimabu brought powerful emotion to the room with her remarks.
He says Tuimabu’s story is the kind of tangible outcome that the United Nations works to achieve through its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and it is about uplifting our people.
Sayed-Khaiyum says it is about achieving the unthinkable and it is about recognition that, by working together, and by maintaining an unyielding commitment to inclusivity, they can achieve more than they ever thought possible.
Meanwhile, Sayed-Khaiyum has called on the United Nations system to provide the type of cohesive and comprehensive support that will be needed to bring Fiji and many other countries to the next level.
Sayed-Khaiyum also called on the UN and the development partners to focus on finding new blended financing solutions at affordable costs.
He says this should be built on the landmark accomplishments like Fiji’s sovereign green bond with ocean‑centric blue bonds and other innovative mechanisms that allow Fiji and others to protect the progress from climate disasters.