The UN Economic and Social Commission for the Asia Pacific region (UNESCAP) is convening its 79th Commission Session from 15 – 19 May, at the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand.
The theme of the 79th session is “Accelerating climate action in Asia and the Pacific for sustainable development”, emphasizing urgent commitments to strengthen regional cooperation on climate change.
The Session brings together Government leaders and other key stakeholders from across the Asia -Pacific region to discuss policy options and areas of regional cooperation required to accelerate climate action in the region.
The Asia-Pacific region is the biggest contributor of Green-House Gas Emissions into the atmosphere at 55% of total global emissions. Six (6) out of the ten (10) countries most affected by climate change, are in the Asia Pacific region.
The Fijian Delegation is led by Hon. Sakiusa Tubuna, Assistant Minister for the Office of the Prime Minister, Environment, Climate Change, and Civil service.
He is supported by Ambassador Amena Yauvoli, Permanent Representative of Fiji to UNESCAP based in Jakarta, Ms. Keleni Seruvatu, Director Multilateral Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ms. Vasiti Cirikiyasawa, Second Secretary of the Fijian Embassy in Indonesia.
Fiji was involved in the month long negotiations of key resolutions prior to the Session, working in conjunction with the Permanent Mission of Maldives, to present resolutions on (i) accelerating climate action; (ii) supporting the sustainable development of least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states (SIDS); (iii) accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda; and (iv) on regional cooperation to mainstream and accelerate ocean-based climate action in Asia and the Pacific.
These resolutions form key components of the decisions to be adopted on the last day of the Session on Friday 19 May.
In delivering Fiji’s country Statement, the Fiji Delegation reminded the Session, of the need to work towards our commitments to keeping the 1.5 degree Celsius target alive, and for a multi-sectoral synergy to transition to a net-zero future.
The Pacific States are well represented at the 79th Session, with high level delegations from the Cook Islands as Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), Samoa, Palau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Fiji, and supported by senior officials from Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Vanuatu.
Since the 79th Commission Session falls into the Pacific subregion’s rotation for the Chairmanship, the Kingdom of Tonga currently chairs this year’s commission session.
In alignment with the Pacific regional priorities outlined under the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, the Pacific sub-region is actively engaging through this regional platform to ensure that the Asia-Pacific region accelerates climate action for the benefit of its 4.1 billion population, comprising two thirds of the world’s population.
UNESCAP is one of the five (5) regional UN Commissions, and is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region. It consist of 53 Member States and 9 Associate Members, with a geographical scope that stretches from Turkey in the west to the Pacific Island States in the east, and from the Russian Federation in the north to New Zealand in the south.