24 November, 2017, 12:00 am
THE planned celebration to welcome the COP23 delegates today has been labelled as unnecessary by the Opposition spokesperson for environment Niko Nawaikula.
In a press conference on Monday, the permanent secretary for the iTaukei Affairs ministry Naipote Katonitabua said about $35,000 was set aside for the celebrations.
Mr Nawaikula said it was a misplaced priority as he has called on Government to cancel the celebrations.
“What has Fiji’s COP23 team achieved to deserve a celebration, not to mention the fact they are arriving with handful after handfuls of three-week allowances,” said Nawaikula.
“Worse of all, Winston victims are still suffering, and we should not be celebrating as they suffer in silence,” he said.
“As for achievements, COP23 is about four things namely, our nation’s commitment to reduce emissions, our commitment to maintain or expand our forest cover, our commitment to contribute to the Green Climate Fund for climate mitigation or adaptation to help vulnerable nations and our commitment to contribute to the insurance pool to help victims of severe weather damage.”
Mr Nawaikula claimed Fiji played the victim card and pushed focus away from countries such as Tuvalu and Kiribati who were at their neck on climate effect.
“No need for a celebration especially when school students in Taveuni, Ra and Tailevu continue to suffer in tents.
“I personally supervise volunteer carpenters financed by private donors to rebuild the houses of single mothers and elderly in Tailevu.
“This $35,000 will be well spent to assist rebuild all these incomplete homes that need professional carpenters and labourers,” said Mr Nawaikula.