Bainimarama urges leaders to address the climate challenge

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Fiji’s Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama

Venkat Raman
Auckland, June 26, 2022

Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has called on friendly countries to intensify collective action to develop resilient and sustainable economies.

Speaking at the High-Level Dialogue on Global Development along the margins of the 14th Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Summit on June 25, 2022, he said that leaders and people need to hear ideas, analyse, discuss and debate them.

Mr Bainimarama said that the Pacific is facing intense and frequent climate-induced natural disasters and that as the region emerges from the devastating economic wreckage of the pandemic, the governments are doing their best with limited resources to mitigate and adapt to climate impacts.

“BRICS can form the basis of an important partnership for ensuring that no nation is left to face disease and the ravages of climate change alone and it has great potential as a force to make up ground on the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. We learned long ago through South-South Cooperation that the established powers were not the only source of valuable support, nor necessarily always the most decisive. BRICS can be an important means of bringing the entire world’s intellectual, financial, and technical resources to bear on the drive to achieve global sustainable development,” he said.

The participating world leaders exchanged views on issues such as accelerating the implementation of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the South-South Cooperation, terrorism, climate change, nuclear disarmament, and the promotion of international and regional peace and security, social and economic development, among other important issues.

Chairmanship of BRICS is on a rotation basis among the five-member countries. China is the Chairman this year and hence President Xi Jinping presided over the meetings.

Bainimarama addressing the BRICS Summit

China-Fiji Cooperation

He said that small islands developing states face development challenges and that his country will work with Fiji and the international community to intensify practical cooperation for small developing states.

“We need to jointly build international consensus on promoting development. It is important that we put development front and centre on the international agenda, deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and build political consensus to ensure everyone values development and all countries pursue cooperation together,” he said.

Mr Jinping said that the world is going through accelerating changes unseen in a century and the continued spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“They confront humanity with unprecedented challenges. Over the past 16 years, the giant ship of BRICS has sailed forward tenaciously against raging torrents and storms. Riding the wind and cleaving the waves, it has embarked on a righteous course of mutual support and win-win cooperation. Standing at the crossroads of history, we should look back at the journey that we have travelled and keep in mind why we established BRICS,” he said.

Far-reaching policies

Fiji is adopting far-reaching policies and a better relationship with nature will mean a better future for all.

“As we build back better, we will need to tap into private sector finances, efficiency, and innovation to support our economic recoveries, and the world’s largest economies, such as those in BRICS and beyond, must seriously commit to climate financing. The BRICS partnership can help us get there,” Mr Bainimarama said.

Mr Jinping discussed the commitment of BRICS nations toward the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

This will foster united, equal, balanced and inclusive global development partnerships and usher in a new era for global development featuring balance, benefits shared by all, coordination, inclusiveness, win-win cooperation and common prosperity, he said.

Highlighting China’s key deliverables for global development, he said that his country will collaborate with partners to support the setting up of the Global Alliance for Poverty Reduction and Development to promote sharing of best practices and international cooperation on poverty reduction.

China will also launch an International NGOs Network for Poverty Reduction Cooperation and carry out a series of dialogues on development experience sharing to help developing countries enhance capacity building for sustainable development, among other important commitments.

India’s commitment

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi explained his country’s development partnership with Africa, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and from the Pacific to the Caribbean.

“India is focused on a free, open, inclusive, and rules-based maritime space, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations from the Indian Ocean region to the Pacific Ocean,” he said.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil El-Sisi said that his country appreciates the keenness of BRICS to adopt a common vision on political and economic issues of concern to developing countries, particularly in terms of development cooperation and the support of development financing.

On climate change, he said that Egypt, in its capacity as the next president OF COP27, will make every effort to achieve consensus among all parties interested in international climate action.

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