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Fiji's costs covered by donors

Nasik Swami
Friday, November 24, 2017

COP23 has not cost the Fijian Government anything, this was revealed by the executive director of COP23 presidency secretariat, John Connor.

Mr Connor said Fiji's costs had been covered by other nations.

"Their confidence in us has been vindicated by our success in moving the climate negotiations forward and some big achievements in such areas as protecting our oceans, more finance for climate adaptation and the prospect of affordable insurance for climate vulnerable people around the world," he said.

He said the costs of sending Fiji's formal delegation to COP23, including transport, accommodation and daily allowances were carried from the UNFCCC Trust Fund into which some countries, including Italy, Switzerland and the EU contributed.

"They are yet to advise the combined figure of these costs. As we have just concluded we haven't got the final invoice for this cost.

"Costs for the police band, artisans and all their equipment was under $500,000. This came out of the Presidency Trust Fund, again to be met from other donors, not Fiji."

Mr Connor said there were 70 members of the combined presidency, negotiations, climate action and logistics team that represented Fiji.

"A further 30 members of the Police Band and eight artisans attended to showcase Fijian art, culture and the bula spirit for which COP23 is already famous for."

He said Fiji making a real difference in the fight against climate change elevated the country's reputation in the world as a nation punching above its weight.

"All of the items Fiji identified as negotiation priorities were either delivered or significantly advanced and there were important advances in other areas like agriculture.

"Fiji has helped forge much stronger bonds with other members of what is now called the Grand Coalition in support of climate action with American and other states and cities, investors and leaders like Michael Bloomberg and Arnold Schwarzenegger coming out in support for climate action so crucial to Fiji's future." 

"We have also gained a number of very valuable projects in Fiji to benefit the Fijian people, such as the Leonardo Di Caprio Foundation backed rural electrification program, green bond investment in adaptation infrastructure and will be seeking to develop further insurance and investment initiatives throughout the year and beyond."

Mr Connor said Fiji's success had paved the way for other smaller nations to be given carriage of the climate negotiations.

"We had a wonderful partnership with Germany and the UNFCCC that has provided a model for similar partnerships that will allow other small nations to also shine.

"So it is a big advance for every nation of the size and influence of Fiji and the people of developing countries around the world."

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