Chichibunomiya Minato Rugby Matsuri 2022

The Fiji Embassy Tokyo participated in the “Chichibunomiya Minato Rugby Matsuri 2022” supported by KOWA Vantelin, at Chichibunomiya Rugby Ground in Tokyo on Sunday, 24 April 2022.


The Fiji Embassy Tokyo [FET] warns consumers that criminal perpetrators may post fraudulent online classified advertisements offering vehicles for sale that are not, nor have ever been, in their possession.

The fake advertisements usually include photos matching the description of the vehicle and a phone number or email address to contact the supposed seller. Once contact is established, the criminal sends the intended buyer additional photos along with an explanation for the discounted price and the urgency of the transaction.

Once the transaction is completed, the criminal typically ignores a follow-up call, text messages, or emails from the buyer or may demand additional payments. In the end, the vehicle is not delivered, and the buyer can never recuperate their losses.   

Tips for Avoiding Fraudulent Online Vehicle Sales:

  • Collect information about used vehicle exporters with all details about their company, establishment, address, email, telephone, and others.
  • Check the address on Google search, call on the landline phone numbers, and ask for a police verification certificate and registration. You can search the company on JETRO, JUMVEA, etc. All the information and establishment year of the company helps you judge the goodwill of the exporter.
  • Contact the exporter and enquire about the purchase process and payment terms. Take a printout or save it. Carefully go through again. Clarify all doubts. If terms are clear, that is a sign that they are well experienced and honest.
  • Check the stocks of the exporter for two-three days and note if stock is changing and new items are added. If yes, that means they are active in the business.
  • Select a vehicle and check the details, including pictures from all angles, VIN, or inspection sheets. These certificates assure you what you will get through inspection of all used vehicles, both interior and exterior, and verifying the chassis number of the vehicle is done. Then the vehicles are stamped. Place an order for one unit in your first deal. If the deal is as you expected, then go-ahead for more. 
  • Do not be carried away by low-price offers that could be a trap from the frauds. Take ample time to check and make a decision always and compare an offer from different exporters.
  • Ask for a reference buyer or importer in Fiji who already imports a car from the exporter. You can cross-verify from buyer/importer about dealing with an exporter. 
  • Avoid sellers who refuse to share their company`s registration details.
  • Criminals take extra effort to disguise themselves and have recognizable words in their email names or domain. If you are suspicious or unsure about an email that claims to be from a legitimate business, locate the company online and contact them directly.
  • Don’t give out your financial or personal information, such as credit card number or bank account information, until you verify that the online company you’re liaising with is legitimate.

Should you need any clarifications pertaining to the above, please feel free to contact Second Secretary, Mr. Ashneel Shankar on

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s Statement on Lifting of COVID-19 Restrictions, Sunday, 6 February 2022

Bula Vinaka.

This announcement is to review our COVID response and make some important changes to our strategy. But before we get into those details, we want to speak briefly on the serious flooding brought by heavy rains in the West.

A total of five schools have opened as evacuation centres; three schools in Ba, one in Lautoka, and one in Nadi. Heavy rain is expected to continue till mid-week and flash and riverine flooding will be an issue in the coming days for the Western Division and some places in Vanua Levu.

This, unfortunately, has had some unexpected implications for the primary school students in the West who we know have been looking forward to returning to their classrooms and seeing their friends and teachers.

Due to the flooding, all primary and secondary schools in the West will be closed for the next week. We know that’s disappointing news for students who have all been preparing for their return to the classroom, but the weather has taken a very poor turn and it’s safest we wait another week until the rains clear up.

The Central, Eastern, and Northern divisions are not impacted by this decision which means that all schools in these divisions will be open as scheduled and will be welcoming back teachers and students. But, if the rains do pick-up in any of these areas, we’ll have no choice but to close the schools.

And, in the interest of fairness, we are pausing Year 13 exams and deferring the remaining exams until next week nationwide. Year 12 exams all over Fiji are deferred to next week as well.

Now, let’s review where we stand on our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the day the pandemic arrived in Fiji, we have lived under some form of COVID-19 restrictions. Think back to that day –– 19 March 2020 –– and everything that the world has endured since; outbreaks of the virus, lockdowns, 5.7 million lives lost around the world, as well global economic devastation. In Fiji alone, we lost over 100,000 livelihoods.

This has been a once-in-a-century crisis by every measure. And have confronted it through the greatest mobilization of resources –– both human and financial –– in Fijian history.

500 million dollars in assistance was paid, directly, by the government to Fijians whose employment was affected. Over 66,000 food ration packs were delivered to families who were isolating in their homes. 1.3 million doses and counting of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered. Today –– thanks to policies like no jab, no job –– over 90% of Fijians over the age of 15 are fully-vaccinated.

We did all of this –– averting a socioeconomic catastrophe and readying ourselves for a recovery –– while managing the devastation of adverse weather, including storms, floods, and four cyclones: Harold, Yasa, Ana and Cody.

We were guided by a strategic vision to free our country from the grip of the pandemic. That strategy demanded decisive leadership from government, and it demanded discipline, compassion and solidarity from every Fijian. Together, we saved lives –– thousands of them –– while government worked diligently behind-the-scenes with our friends from Australia, India, New Zealand and the US to secure COVID-19 vaccines. Then, we restored jobs –– thousands of them –– by becoming one of the world’s most vaccinated societies, earning back our freedoms and re-opening our borders to the world.

We were guided every day by our Hon Prime Minister’s direction, who reminded us that “Our journey to the new normal is a marathon, not a sprint. We have to move forward in step with the science at a careful and responsible pace.” And we did so by instituting measures that were proportional to the threat the virus posed, easing them when appropriate and strengthening them when necessary, including when the Omicron variant arrived at our shores.

While Omicron produced a less severe disease than past variants, its highly contagious nature posed a threat to the capacity of our healthcare system. We upped our enforcement of COVID-safe measures in response while we continued to deploy booster doses to enhance our community immunity. Unlike many more advanced countries, our ICU capacity was never overwhelmed by the third wave of cases thanks to our high vaccination coverage and our stepped-up enforcement of COVID-safe measures. And we avoided a crisis in the delivery of outpatient care by quickly opening up private GP clinics to members of the public, with the costs covered by the government. And we plan to open more private GP clinics to the public.

Ladies and gentlemen, the science says today that the worst of the Omicron wave is behind us. Hospitalisations are falling and the number of boosted Fijians is rising every day. It’s time for a new direction; one that is guided by the same principles our Hon Prime Minister set out, one that considers the lessons we’ve learned, and one recognises that –– while the pandemic is not over –– it has entered a totally new phase.

What this means in practice is that we no longer need to look at the world solely through the lens of COVID-19. We are moving to a stage where we can remove our blinders and treat COVID as an endemic disease instead of a pandemic, not unlike the common flu. COVID cases aren’t going away, but our focus –– from a health and policy standpoint –– will be on particularly vulnerable groups, while the rest of our society more or less live normally as we rebuild our economy and focus on addressing the other challenges affecting the lives of ordinary people, for example, non-communicable diseases. For the past several weeks, we have been carefully reviewing the Omicron variant’s impact on our healthcare system, consulting our experts and crafting a new phase for our response that takes the nation forward at the responsible pace our Hon Prime Minister asked of us.

We have far more certainty than we did two years, or even one year, ago. Still, it is important to mention there are a number of variables we’ll continue to monitor over the coming months. But we promised the Fijian people that we will only have restrictions if they are truly necessary, and we’ll lift them as soon as we can. That is what is happening today.

From Monday 7 February, which is from midnight tonight, the curfew will be lifted. Not moved. Not shifted. Lifted, completely.

The curfew was implemented to prevent non-essential gatherings that can spread the virus and allow for reliable contact tracing at certain hours in the evening. In some ways, it served as the national barometer of progress towards normalcy, as we moved the start time from 6pm, hour by hour, to midnight in recognition of reaching our vaccination targets. Now, it’s removed entirely.

We recognise that the curfew had other benefits unrelated to the virus itself. We’ve spoken with many households, in particular, who have told us that they were grateful to have their children and loved ones at home more often because of the curfew. These are benefits that came unexpectedly, and hopefully, most people will continue to spend more time with their loved ones, at home, and take care of their community.

Of course, we can’t justify the continuation of a curfew for the sake of just these benefits. But we want to highlight them nonetheless. Because if you are someone who found they spent more quality time at home, became more productive or studied more, you can make the choice to keep those good habits. The pandemic has taught us all some hard lessons and the more insights we take out of it the better –– lessons from the hard times but also the good times we have had with our families and loved ones.

The curfew also meant less movement and therefore fewer opportunities for criminals. We’ve taken this matter very seriously and we’ve been in discussions with the Fiji Police Force for weeks to review their capacity and strategy to contain criminal activity. With the curfew lifted, our Police are adopting a new posture to uphold public safety, putting more boots on the ground in communities and high-traffic areas to crack down on criminality. The Commissioner of Police, who is here with us, will elaborate further on their strategy.

Even though the curfew is removed, nightclubs will not be allowed to operate. However, taverns, many of which used to be licensed as nightclubs, may open until 1am at 80% capacity throughout Fiji, provided that seating is properly spaced out, dancing is not allowed, and all areas are well ventilated.

As for our other health measures, the following changes take effect from tomorrow:

Public Service Vehicles can operate at full capacity, which include buses, mini-buses, carriers and taxis however we will continue to enforce mask-wearing onboard all vehicles.

Indoor and outdoor sporting events, including competitive sports, may be held with spectators at 80% capacity provided those spectators wear masks.

Businesses, venues, and houses of worship may open at full capacity, with the exception of high-risk businesses, which must operate at 80% capacity. High-risk businesses include cinemas, bars, taverns, gyms, hairdressing and salon services, tattoo parlours, and gaming venues.

The careFIJI App and QR will not be required for entry into businesses and venues anymore because we are not presently relying on contact tracing as part of our COVID-19 response. The careFIJI App may be required again in the future if the epidemiological situation changes, so please keep the app on your phone so it is easily available if needed.

The Vax Check tool is also no longer required for use by businesses given that Fiji is a highly vaccinated society. However, the high-risk businesses that we’ve just listed out and all Care Fiji Certified businesses will be required to check the vaccination cards of their patrons and customers.

It is the responsibility of businesses to enforce COVID-safe behaviour on the premises. The fines for violations remain in effect.
There is no more restriction on informal gatherings, including gatherings at home, effective immediately.

We’ve also developed clearer guidance on where masks are required to be worn. The full guidance on mask-wearing will be published online.

Australia recently made a change to its testing requirements for their citizens returning from international travel by accepting rapid antigen tests as an alternative to PCR tests. We’re adding that same option.

Travellers 12 years and above entering Fiji from a Travel Partner Country may produce a negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) taken within 24 hours of the flight’s scheduled departure. In other words, the more expensive PCR tests are no longer required to board flights to Fiji.

Details of acceptable test-kits are published online. The Ministry of Health and Medical Services, will continue to monitor the global epidemiological situation and may re-introduce more stringent risk reduction measures if required.

We’re also reviewing the requirement of a three-day Care Fiji Certified Accommodation requirement for arrivals into Fiji in favour of an entry system that allows passengers to submit confirmation of a booked COVID-19 test in Fiji within 48 hours of landing in Fiji. Before we make that change, we need more testing sites open in Fiji. We’ve put out an Expression of Interest for the private sector and we encourage more people to apply so that we can open as many testing sites as possible. We’ll have more details to announce on that policy shift soon.

All Care Fiji Certified hotels, transport operators, and businesses must welcome this flexibility with stronger adherence to the measures that are required to maintain their certifications. If you fail to meet the high bar of COVID safety we’ve set for our visitors, our COVID safe Ambassadors and Police will shut you down. We cannot tolerate one bad apple in our tourism sector spoiling the bunch for all those who are following the rules.

These easings of restrictions mean a great deal for our economy and for the restoration of livelihoods. With the ease of restrictions locally and testing requirements made easier and more affordable, we’ll create more local economic activity and attract more tourists. That means more business, including for micro and small businesses, more demand, and more jobs for our people. And it will further consolidate our path towards record-breaking economic growth.

We would like to thank you all for your compliance, getting vaccinated, and acting in a true patriotic spirit helping those in need as a community. With this effort from all of us we are able to lift most restrictions and welcome back a sense of normality to our lives.

But there are some people, a tiny minority, who are not yet vaccinated. We urge them to get vaccinated. We are only able to rollback these measures because of the high rate of vaccination we have achieved, but there’s more we want to be able to do, including getting our cinemas, hair salons, gyms, tattoo parlours and all the other businesses currently operating under capacity restrictions to fully reopen and get back more jobs for Fijians.

So to those who are not fully vaccinated, our message is to please get it done. And those who are eligible for boosters, please get boosted. Getting vaccinated and getting boosted is the best way we can protect the progress we’re announcing today and ensure that none of these health protection measures need to come back into force. Let’s also please use these new freedoms responsibly and continue with the common-sense measures, like mask-wearing, physical distancing and good handwashing and sanitising, that can keep us safe.

Let us close by wishing our friends in New Zealand a happy Waitangi Day. This week, 244 tonnes of aid donated by Fijians, NGOs, faith-based groups and our Tongan Community in Fiji arrived on Tonga’s shores aboard a Fijian vessel funded by the New Zealand Government. That shared act of Pacific solidarity speaks volumes of the shared values of our people. Needless to say, we’re all looking forward to 14 March, when we can safely welcome visitors from New Zealand to Fiji.

Thank you.

I’m here with The Minister for Education, Heritage and the Arts, the Commissioner of Police and the Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services.

Minister Kumar and the Commissioner have some brief updates for us on school closures and exams deferments. Then, we’ll take some questions

(Source, Fijian Government Website)

Updated Fiji Entry Conditions – 27 December 2021

Please refer to the link for updated Fiji Entry Conditions as at 27 December 2021:

Requirement for Fijian e-Passports

Please refer below are the requirements for obtaining a Fijian e-Passport:


Entry Conditions for Red List Countries – 29 November 2021

Fijian Government Steps-up entry conditions for red list countries in response to Omicron variant

The Fijian Government has strengthened its strict conditions for entry for incoming travelers from red list countries in response to the newly-reported Omicron variant of COVID-19.

“We’re monitoring the Omicron variant closely as it has been shown to carry significant mutations that could spell higher rates of transmissibility and virulence. We commend South Africa on identifying and publishing the first information on this new variant. So far, field evidence does suggest higher transmissibility. However, more study is needed to determine if transmissibility is truly increased if the variant is less responsive to natural and vaccine-induced immunity and if the disease caused by the variant is more severe,” said Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr. James Fong.

“The process of risk assessment for our red list and Travel Partner Countries (TPC) was developed with the knowledge that new variants of the virus were highly likely to be detected. It analyses factors such as country vaccine coverage and rates of community transmission. We will continue to rely on that assessment process moving forward.”

For Fijians located in red list countries, which have always included the Southern African States, the measures for incoming travelers are as follows:

  1. Travelers must be fully vaccinated with one of Fiji’s approved vaccines;
  2. Travelers must undergo escalated pre-departure protocols, which include self-isolation for the five days prior to travel under the oversight of the employer or sponsor and test negative on day 5 and within 72 hours prior to departure; and
  3. On arrival to Fiji, the quarantine period for travelers from red list countries will increase to 14 days with a PCR test done on arrival on day 5 and day 12.

The Fijian Government will maintain the entry conditions for all arrivals from Travel Partner Countries, which include requirements such as full vaccination with an approved COVID-19 vaccine, a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken 72 hours prior to departure, a 3-night stay in a Care-Fiji Certified hotel, and an additional COVID-19 test on Day 2 after arrival.

The preference of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services is that travelers from red list countries go to a listed TPC for ten days prior to traveling to Fiji. However, given some international border restrictions, particularly in Southern Africa, we understand some Fijian citizens and residents may need to book travel directly to Fiji.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will provide advice on a process for the public to help us by providing information on citizens in Southern Africa so those citizens can be registered and assisted to adhere to the strict conditions for entry.

“This new variant is a reminder that for as long as there is a pandemic, Fiji will continue to face a threat from the virus and its variants. The most important step every Fijian can take in response to this variant is to become fully vaccinated and encourage others around us to do the same. We have one of the highest rates of vaccine coverage in the world –– but Fiji is safest when we achieve as close to 100% coverage as possible. And we must continue to adhere closely to the other health protection measures we know can limit the spread, including good handwashing, mask-wearing, and physical distancing.”

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is currently establishing genomic sequencing capacity within the Fiji Centre for Disease Control to process any positive samples of concern.

The Ministry is currently administering booster doses to front-line health officials and will soon deploy booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines to vulnerable members of the public.

(Source: Ministry of Health and Medical Services Website)

Minister Faiyaz Koya’s Statement at the third Japan-Pacific Islands Economic Forum

Fellow Ministers and Representatives of the Government of Japan;
Chairman, Japan External Trade Organisation;
Fellow Ministers from the Pacific and Government representatives;
Participating Private Sector Representatives;
Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat;
Participants of the Forum;

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Ohayo-gozaimas, Bula Vinaka, and warm greetings from the Pacific.

It gives me great pleasure to be representing the Pacific at this third Japan and Pacific Islands Economic Forum, in my capacity as the Chair of the Forum Trade Ministers.

Trade and Investment plays an increasingly critical role in the growth of Pacific Island Countries (PICs) and has led to the development of many essential sectors, both in goods and services.

The increase in the level of exports to and investments from trading partners such as Japan, supports PICs in creating income and employment and strengthens domestic private sector development through transfers of technology and know-how of management.

The PICs are able to strengthen their position through this bilateral trade and economic platform. The continued commitment of Japan provides the PICs a foundation to launch into the global trade arena.

The PICs exports to Japan increased by 114.3 per cent from US$1.4 billion in 2008 to $3 billion in 2019. Exports were dampened, to $2.25 billion, in 2020, which can be attributed to the impact of the pandemic on the supply chain and transportation network.

As of 2020, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Fiji are the top three PICs exporters to Japan, however, there is potential for other PICs to create a niche in the Japanese market.

Today’s Forum not only is an opportunity for the business community to share their interests, but also for the PICs to share policies, incentives, reforms and future plans for economic recovery.

The event compliments the role of Forum Trade Ministers, who have the mandate of setting the regional vision to attract trade and investments. Whilst ensuring there is a conducive business climate for private sector investments to flourish in the Pacific.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

None of us here today needs reminding of the mayhem that we have endured in the past two years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Decades of economic growth have spiraled downwards. However, there are opportunities that have been spurred by this adversity.

This is an opportune forum for us to reflect on the confronting challenges that the pandemic has brought. But more importantly to seek and explore ways to truly strengthen collaboration between Japan and Pacific businesses in an attempt towards economic recovery and rebuilding efforts.

I wish to convey appreciation on behalf of the Pacific nations, to Japan, for standing with us during the pandemic and providing necessary assistance, including vaccines. Japan, in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has pledged to assist 10 PICs, with a USD 9 million contribution to boost a vaccine-powered economic recovery in the region.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Japan has been a longstanding partner for the region and host of many international exhibitions, trade shows, and seminars to continue the promotion and marketing of Pacific products and businesses.

They also have a strong presence in the region through agencies such as JICA, JETRO, Pacific Trade and Invest (PT&I) and the Pacific Islands Centre. These agencies support Pacific businesses by facilitating access to the Japanese market. They gather market intelligence, facilitate support and business-to-business connections between Japanese and Pacific entrepreneurs.

These bodies add to industry development, capacity building, resource enhancement and facilitate investment in areas that utilise Japan’s strengths – such as, renewable energy, environment (waste management, marine plastics, water, disaster prevention) and health and medical care. The Pacific looks forward to learning more and working in collaboration with these organisations.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In addition to the above, the 2021 Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM), further discussed and enhanced the agenda to expand this partnership.

Our Leaders discussed five priority areas at the PALM, which included:

● COVID-19 response,
● sustainable oceans,
● climate change and disaster resilience,
● strengthening foundations for sustainable & economic development, and
● human resources development.

Each of these priorities are critical contributors and components for the growth of a strong and healthy economy.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Forum today paves the way forward and into the future. We will be able to identify opportunities, and areas where to combine efforts, pool resources and mobilise collective action to benefit the region.

The business-to-business interactions will allow for expansion beyond traditional sectors of tourism, apparel, agriculture, fisheries. It will enable growing entities, especially the micro, small and medium enterprises, to venture into other untapped areas, such as cultural and creative industries, renewables, waste management, to name a few.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Work is underway in many PICs in terms of review of investment frameworks. In addition, reforms are being undertaken to improve doing business policies, to enable Japanese businesses to invest in the Pacific.

Fiji, amongst other PICs, is leading the way in these reforms. Earlier this year, the Fijian Parliament passed the Investment Act, which is benchmarked on international best practices and is considered a trailblazer in the region.
Furthermore, the Fijian Government, through my Ministry, is coordinating the move to a digitalised platform for applications and approval. This process has been started with an online business portal called, which is now being developed into a full-fledged online approvals portal.

I wanted to share the Fijian experience to give the Japanese business community an understanding of how the Pacific is progressing and embracing technology. We have a talented and educated workforce. And we have the vigour to explore opportunities in new and emerging sectors.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Pacific is a growing location for businesses with transportation and communication links that makes it an attractive investment location.

The Pacific’s warm people, its tropical climate, natural pristine environment, steadily developing infrastructure, pro-business policies and legislation makes PICs an ideal destination for business.

With these words, I wish you all a successful forum and look forward to its outcome.

Arigato gozaimasu.

(Source: Fijian Government Website)

PM Bainimarama’s Statement at the Ocean Mana – One Blue Planet Event (Saturday, 6 November 2021)

Leaders and Heads of Delegation;
The Pacific Political Ocean Champion;
Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General and Pacific
Ocean Commissioner;
Secretaries General of the Commonwealth and the Organisation of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific States;
The UNSG’s Special Envoy on Ocean;
The General Secretary of the Pacific
Conference of Churches;
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends.

Ni sa Bula Vinaka. Greetings to you all. It is indeed an honour to be here for this event, our Ocean Mana to One Blue Pacific. As this is our first gathering in Glasgow, I am very pleased to see you all today as we join forces towards a successful COP26.

We are here because we all agree on one thing – our Planet is in grave danger. It is no longer business as usual, and we must accelerate all efforts to restore our planet’s health as the wrath of climate change intensifies.

The alarm bells have been sounded loudly and this time more deafening than ever. This is the new normal right throughout our globe, from sea-level rise, flash flooding, cyclones, and storm surges, to droughts and bush fires. If we continue with our current actions or inaction, we will send our Blue Planet –– our global canoe –– sinking into the abyss.

These unprecedented times call for unprecedented solutions, and as large oceanic sovereign states of the Blue Pacific, we look no further than to our endowment, our lifeblood – our Ocean – for these innovative solutions.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have just witnessed one such unprecedented solution – the Leaders’ Declaration on Preserving Maritime Zones in the face of Climate Change-related Sea-level rise.

I am proud to have presented to you the united appeal and call from the Leaders of the Blue Pacific to save our low-lying coastal developing states, and our entire world, from climate change-related sea-level rise.

Indeed, sea-level rise “is a defining issue that imperils the livelihoods and well-being of our peoples, and undermines the realisation of a peaceful, secure and sustainable future for our region” and for our world.

The recent IPCC Report underlines continued sea-level rise in coastal areas throughout the 21st century, contributing to more frequent and severe coastal flooding in low-lying areas and coastal erosion. Extreme sea level events that previously occurred once in 100 years could happen every year by the end of this century.

Changes to the ocean, including warming, more frequent marine heatwaves, ocean acidification, and reduced oxygen levels, have been clearly linked to human influence. These changes affect both ocean ecosystems and the people that rely on them.

Nations like Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Republic of the Marshall Islands are at the frontline of this global crisis, with the rising sea eating away our shorelines, leaving our homes and people exposed to the ruthless onslaught of coastal erosion and saltwater intrusion.

In Fiji, we have relocated villagers from Vunidogoloa, Narikoso, and four others which are no longer viable for human habitation.

Climate-driven displacement isn’t a doomsday proposition. It is happening now across our Blue Pacific, and I shudder to think of what the future of my grandchildren and your grandchildren will be like if we continue down this path.

Excellencies and friends, the Declaration is not just another sheet of paper. Every word, as pronounced by our Leaders tonight, carries the voices of our people, our children, our plight and our fight to save our people and our home from this crisis.

We do so by upholding the primacy of international law, the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, as the global legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out. The Declaration is our good faith interpretation of the 1982 UNCLOS on an issue that is critical to all of us.

[Our call to the world]

Ladies and Gentlemen, the ocean is central to us. It is our geography, our culture and our economy. It is at the heart of our existence and we see no solutions without it.

As a public regional good, the health and resilience of the oceans features very heavily in the development of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. As such, and in line with Our 2021 Ocean Statement, we call for urgent action to reduce and prevent the irreversible impacts of climate change on our Ocean. We also call for the integration of oceans into the UNFCCC.

To all of our friends across the globe, we share with you a very simple but a consequential message: While it is true that climate change induced sea-level rise has the potential to impact the lives of our Blue Pacific Continent citizens in a very dramatic way, this phenomenon is not by any stretch of the imagination peculiar to the Blue Pacific region.

In effect, many countries in the different subregions of the globe do stand to be similarly affected. As such, it is in all our collective interest to build strong partnerships in our search for scalable solutions.

To that end, and as a first and major step forward, I take this opportunity to extend to all of you, an invitation on behalf of Pacific Islands Forum Leaders and all citizens of the Blue Pacific Continent: Join Us – under the banner of the Declaration on Preserving Maritime Zones in the face of Climate Change-related Sea-level rise – to lead the work to protect the future of our peoples. Let us build stronger partnerships to better take this work forward.

Join us and let us all be Leaders for our Oceans.

I thank you. Vinaka vakalevu.

(Source: Fijian Government Website)