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'Political voice' for change

Nasik Swami
Wednesday, July 13, 2016

PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has told the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) Leaders' Summit that it needs to redouble its efforts to achieve the goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.

Speaking at the opening of the two-day meeting in Honiara, Solomon Islands, in his capacity as the chairman yesterday, Mr Bainimarama said forum leaders needed to unite more closely and set an example to the world.

"The goal to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees seems very difficult to achieve under the current predictions, so our mission is more urgent than ever," he said.

"Ironically, our efforts, and our leadership, will not just be for our benefit and our children's future; they will be for the benefit of the entire planet."

Mr Bainimarama said the forum was also a "political voice".

"In our short life so far, PIDF has established itself as a worthy and respected international institution that honestly represents the interests of its members to the world. This is our organisation, our forum, and our collective and undiluted voice."

He said the PIDF was maturing rapidly, with a membership that reflected the breadth and richness of Pacific Island cultures, economies and experiences.

"From the first day, we have been organised for action. We have focused very specifically and practically on finding solutions for green growth and sustainable development. And we have had the wisdom to know that Government cannot achieve that alone.

"As usual, we have come to Honiara to not just talk. We are here to work to understand the difficult problems confronting us and to develop the most practical and immediate ways to solve them."

Mr Bainimarama spoke about the increasing toll humans are having on the earth and other organisms that inhabited her. He spoke on the issues of whales consuming tonnes of rubbish, of ocean acidification and coral bleaching, the need to stop unsustainable fishing and the climate price smaller island nations are paying.

Mr Bainimarama said there was a role for all governments to play in addressing those issues, but added the contribution of the private sector and civil society organisations could not be overlooked.

"Any ambition that is truly worthwhile will be hard. We know that arresting climate change will be hard," he said.

"It will be hard because it is the most valuable thing we can work for in today's world."

"So we say no. We do not accept timid goals or half-way measures. We want it all. We cannot look at our children and tell them that ensuring their future was just too hard. And we think all the people and all the creatures on this planet deserve no less."








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