Climate issues, Top Meet Agenda

Mr. Blinken also held virtual bilateral meetings with other Pacific leaders, including Fijian ministers and civil society.


Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum with government officials during the bilateral meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his entourage at Sofitel Resort & Spa in Nadi on February 12, 2022. Photo: Leon Lord

Acting Prime Minister and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum made the comment during the visit of US Secretary of State Antony Bliken on Saturday.

He also highlighted the importance of Mr. Blinken’s presence in Fiji in terms of climate finance.

“Most certainly, we welcome the return of the United States to the fold of the Paris Agreement, and for us, this is of crucial importance,” he said.

“We talked about financing that equals financing for development – ​​and the possibility of getting some of the biggest countries to participate in the Paris Agreement,” he said.

“Their willingness to listen, understand and even engage with Pacific island countries is welcome, as we welcome any other country that is roughly in the same space as us when it comes to resolving issues. climate change issues”.

The Pacific region for the future

“It’s a long-term strategy because we see our long-term future in the Indo-Pacific. It’s as simple and basic as that,” Blinken said.

“It’s much more fundamental than that. When we look at this region that we share, we see it as the region of the future, vital for our own prosperity, vital for our own progress,” he said.

He added that 60% of the world’s GDP was here in the region, including Fiji.

“Fifty percent of the world’s population is here. And for all the challenges we have right now that we’re working on together, it’s also a source of great opportunities. And that is what the strategy we have put in place is for.

“It’s about building a free and open Indo-Pacific, defending it with democratic institutions, with transparency, commitment to a rules-based order that we share.”

Resilience

Mr Blinken said it was also about resilience – coming together to end COVID-19, tackle the climate crisis and build back better after the economic crisis.

“It’s about connecting our countries together, deepening and linking different partnerships and alliances,” he said.

“It’s about building shared prosperity, new approaches to economic integration, some of which we’ve talked about today, with high standards. Yes, it’s about security, and we’re working through strategy to deepen integrated deterrence across the region, the interoperability of our forces.

Mr. Blinken also held virtual bilateral meetings with other Pacific leaders, including Fijian ministers and civil society.

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Teresa H. Sadler