The outgoing chair of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF), Prime Minister Hon Frank Bainimarama of Fiji said the PIDF’s fourth Leaders’ Summit, which begins in Honiara yesterday, will build on the commitment in the Suva Declaration to push for the limitation of global temperature rise to 1.5 Degrees Centigrade.
Hon Bainimarama made the remarks in his speech at the opening of the summit at the Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara on Tuesday.
He said at the third PIDF Leaders’ Summit in Suva, Fiji, produced the ‘Suva Declaration’ which became a Pacific appeal to the world’s conscience having taken on its shoulders more than a fair share of the burden of global warming.
“We are in Honiara today to build on that commitment- the goal to limit (global) temperature rise to 1.5 Degrees Centigrade seems very difficult to achieve under the current predictions so our mission is more urgent than ever.
“We need to redouble our efforts, unite more closely and be an example for the world. Ironically, our efforts and our leadership will not just be for our benefit in the future, they will be for the benefit for the entire planet.
“We are here to work and understand the different problems confronting us and to develop the most practical and immediate ways to solve them. During our last summit, we produced a Suva declaration, which became our pacific appeal to the world’s conscience.
“That appeal came with a demand that we take on our shoulders more than our fair share of the burden of global warming.
“We are dedicating time in this summit for vigorous discussion on the very life blood of our region-the ocean that weaved our islands together, the ocean that our ancestors sailed to reach our shores, the ocean that feeds us, sustains our economies and is part of our culture.”
Apart from the issues for discussion, the outgoing PIDF Chair said this year’s summit is also significant because it is the first time that this annual two-day event is hosted outside of Fiji.
“This shows our organisation is revolving and maturing. We are a positive force and we are meeting a very important need in the regional architecture,” he added.
The Outgoing Chair also thanked the Solomon Islands Government and people for the hospitality being accorded to all delegates attending the summit.
He also thanked the Secretary-General of the PIDF Secretariat, Mr Martel Francois and his staff for their ‘excellent’ work in organizing this year’s summit.