Dubai, Dec 2, 2023 – On the sidelines of the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka engaged in a bilateral meeting with Dr. Amy Pope, the Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
This meeting marked a significant collaboration between Fiji and IOM, highlighting the pressing issues of migration, climate change, and human mobility.
Prime Minister Rabuka expressed appreciation for Dr. Pope’s commitment to the Pacific region, acknowledging her firsthand experience during her visit to witness the challenges faced by communities on the frontline of climate change within the first month of her tenure.
The Prime Minister recognised the ongoing collaborative efforts between Fiji and IOM in various areas, including migration and climate change, labor migration, human mobility, migration and development, counter-trafficking, and migrant protection, as well as emergency preparedness and response.
Of particular importance in the discussions was Fiji’s proactive stance on the relocation of communities due to climate change.
Prime Minister Rabuka reiterated the social and cultural complexities and the substantial costs associated with this adaptive response.
He highlighted the recent endorsement of a regional collaboration framework on human mobility by Pacific Leaders, introducing the Pacific Climate Mobility Framework.
This coordinated approach aims to address climate-induced human mobility in the Pacific region, aligning with the Implementation Plan for the 2050 Strategy for Blue Pacific Continent.
Technical partners like the International Organization for Migration play a pivotal role in executing the Strategy. Dr. Amy Pope, in her role, acknowledged the findings of the 2023 6th IPCC Report, underlining the importance of increasing adaptive capacity to minimize risks linked to involuntary migration. Both Prime Minister Rabuka and Dr. Pope stressed the need for a significant scaling up of adequate, predictable, debt-free climate finance, including the Loss and Damage fund.
The leaders recognized that ongoing efforts should encompass the impacts of both sudden-onset and slow-onset events.
They underscored the importance of strengthening prediction, preparedness, humanitarian assistance, and climate-resilient development.
In the context of mitigation, emphasis was placed on investing in solutions for economic diversification, the creation of decent work in green and blue sectors, and a specific focus on youth employment, displaced, and migrant workers.
The commitment expressed in this bilateral meeting reaffirms the shared dedication of Fiji and IOM in creating sustainable solutions to address the challenges posed by climate change and human mobility.