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India - Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference

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29th May 2017 The Government of India hosted the “India – Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference”’ in Suva, Fiji on the 25th & 26th May 2017.

The conference marks yet another crucial step in India’s pioneering initiative in engaging with the Pacific Island Countries. The objective of the meeting is to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experience and initiate partnerships and collaborations for the benefit of all participating countries.  Issues discussed include blue economy, international solar alliance initiatives and climate change adaptation, mitigation and disaster preparedness.

The conference was attended by representatives from Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and many observers from the regional associations and universities, and private sector organisations.

In the opening ceremony, Mr. Amar Sinha, Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs, Republic of India delivered the welcome address, who recalled the relevance of hosting such a regional event given the role of Fiji as presidency in the upcoming COP 23. He also stressed the importance of the national green development aspirations and national plans to provide secure, affordable, widely accessible, high quality, clean energy initiatives and incentives in nation that are commonly addressed by the Paris Declaration on the International Solar Alliance(ISA) .

This was followed by keynote address delivered by Gen., Dr. VK Singh, Honourable Minister of State for External Affairs, Republic of India who emphasized the opportunity to look at ISA initiatives on energy development as key drivers of sustainable development in the global context of the ‘2030 Sustainable Development Agenda’ and the regional frameworks for resilient development in the Pacific Nations. The Inaugural address of the conference was delivered Hon. Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, Attorney General and Minister for Economy, Public Enterprises, Civil Service and Communications,Republic of Fiji.

The two ministerial Sessions of the conference were both moderated by Ambassador Ajai Malhotra, Distinguished Fellow & Senior Advisor for Climate Change of India. In the Sustainable Development Vision 2030 session, Hon. Semisi Fakahau, Minister for Agriculture, Food, Forests & Fisheries, Kingdom of Tonga extended on behalf of the Government of Tonga his appreciation for assistances provided by the Government of India particularly the enhancing of the Tonga’s ICT Infrastructure, Disaster Early Warning system and monitoring equipment for the government’s communication sector.

He also indicated the government’s commitment to limiting global warming  and national targets set to mitigate its GHG emission and increase investment in climate resilience as stated in Tonga’s Nationally Determined Contributions. He also informed the meeting about the establishment of the Tonga Trust Fund and invited financial contribution form the Government of India and other development partners.

In the same session, the conference was addressed by  Gen.Dr. V.K. Singh (Retd.), Hon. Minister of State for External Affairs, Republic of India; Hon. Toke Tufukia Talagi, Premier of Niue; Hon. Tekena Tiroa, Member of Parliament , Kiribati; Hon. Mark Brown, Minister of Finance, Cook Islands;  Ms Makereta Konrote, Permanent Secretary, Minister for Economy, Republic of Fiji.

India and the Pacific region faced similar challenges in terms of natural disasters. We face same challenges such as floods, droughts, cyclones, tsunamis, earthquakes.

Tonga delegation to the meeting consists of :

  • Hon. Semisi Fakahau,  Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (Head of Delegation)
  • Dr. Tevita Tukunga, MEIDECC
  • Ms Ilaisaane Lolo, MOFP

ENDS

Issued by the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications

 
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