Suva, 16 May 2019
Thank you, your Excellency Honourable Prime Minister, for your words and especially thank you very much for the extremely warm hospitality I have been enjoying in your wonderful country.
This visit has two dimensions: the Fijian dimension and the Pacific dimension.
In the Fijian dimension it is a visit of gratitude in which I want to express how much we appreciate the extraordinary contribution of the Fijian people and the Fijian Government to all the important areas of action of the United Nations and all the important areas of international cooperation.
Fiji has been a strong and committed partner in peacekeeping. Fijian soldiers and Fijian police officers have shown enormous determination, enormous courage, and some of them, unfortunately, have lost their lives protecting the lives of vulnerable people – of women, of children – in some of the most dangerous places in the world.
There is a depth of gratitude that all of the international community in relation to Fiji that I want to express very clearly, being side by side with a former peacekeeper.
Secretary-General’s remarks at the closing of High-Level Political Dialogue of the Pacific Island Forum, Suva,
15 May 2019
Thank you, Mr. President.
This has been a very illuminating meeting. I learned a lot. Allow me to extract four main conclusions from everything I heard today.
The first is that the Pacific Island States have the moral authority to tell the world that climate change needs to be reversed, because the Pacific Island States are leading by example. Even with all the difficulties – the lack of resources, the isolation, the distances, the lack of scale –the truth is that the Pacific Island States are not only building resilience and investing in adaptation to protect their citizens, their communities and their culture to protect their environment, but they are fixing for themselves very ambitious targets in relation to mitigation.
I heard today the very important commitment that the countries of the region are assuming to dramatically reduce emissions and be able to be fully in line with the target that we have all fixed to make sure that the temperature does not rise at the end of the century by more than 1.5 degrees.
I was surprised by the level of innovation you introduced, by the efforts made by the Pacific partnership in all its dimensions, by the commitments made by different countries in relation to their nationally determined contributions. This should be an example for the most developed countries in this world. I was surprised by the very advanced innovations announced using mobile technologies and mobilizing all capacities of the States in order to make sure that countries who are victims of climate change without contributing to it, that they do everything possible at their scale to reduce emissions and to show solidarity with the rest of the world.
This moral authority of the Pacific Island States needs to be clearly recognized.
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