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Fiji : Fiji pledges support to UN SIDS preparatory process.

Pita Wise, the head of the Fijian delegation currently attending the third international conference on small-island developing States in Samoa, delivered a statement at the plenary session today.

In his statement, the Fijian Permanent Secretary highlighted the need for all countries to collectively address the challenges of sustainable development. He pointed to the Pacific Way as a concept that would complement efforts to accelerate action through genuine partnership. He said that the Pacific Way involves dialogue and collaboration in sharing our island heritage, independence and the right to self-governance, as we strive to establish effective communities, strengthening social networks, and promote environmentally friendly sustainable economic development.

The Fiji statement identified the need to review and improve institutional mechanisms on a global, regional, sub-regional, inter and intra-regional level in order to make them relevant and responsive to their respective mandates and people s needs.

Mr Wise said in the spirit of genuine, durable partnership and inclusiveness, Fiji has championed the formation of the Pacific Islands Development Forum. The PIDF encompasses the collective efforts of Governments, civil society organizations and the private sector to address issues of common interest, challenges, and map out solutions tailored to the needs of Pacific island countries.

He also pointed out that the Fiji Volunteer Service scheme is a manifestation of Fiji s commitment to partnership with its Pacific Island neighbours, under the umbrella of South-South cooperation.

In particular, Fiji s Green Growth Framework was presented as a prime example of national efforts that recognises the need for the sustainable use of our natural resources, reduce our vulnerability to environmental risks and promote socially inclusive development.

Another significant development that has been given priority is the protection of our marine resources. TheGovernment has revisited its commitment made in 2005 at the second SIDS conference in Mauritius, said Mr Wise. The commitment was that Fiji will protect 30% of its marine resources by the year 2020. Although some progress has been made with the support of our development partners as well as through the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Network, there remains a lot to be done and we are committed to achieving the 30% target.

A view shared by many delegations at the Samoa conference is that the One Size Fits All development paradigm has not been effective. Mr Wise was one of the speakers who stressed that all developing countries must be given room or policy space to better determine their priorities based on their specific needs rather than being driven by those that provide them with the necessary financial resources.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:8FIJI
Date:Sep 5, 2014
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