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UN high-level week: Launch of the Fiji Climate Trust Fund

Statement given by His Royal Highness The Crown Prince at the launch of the Climate Relocation and Displaced People's Trust Fund for Communities and Infrastructure hosted by the Prime Minister, Mr Voreqe Bainimarama, New York, 23 September 2019.

Prime Minster,

Thank you very much for hosting us. Actually, I would like to start by saying that I am sorry. I am sorry that we need a climate relocation and displacement people’s trust fund. I think it all made an impression on us this morning hearing Greta Thunberg, portraying her frustration that we as human beings have not been able to rise to the occasion and really do something to bring our nature back into balance. We now have a ten-year window where we all need to step up and really take action to meet this challenge.

I am from the north. We live far away from Fiji - actually on the other side of the planet. Up in the Arctic were I am from, we have glaciers that are melting. When I go to Svalbard or I go to Greenland, we see glaciers that are retracting a lot every year. I is really visible. And we know that when the glaciers are melting in the north, the sea is rising in the South Pacific.

Of course there are challenges. I was lucky enough, together with the Minister of Development, to go to Samoa, Tonga and Fiji in April and see this with our own eyes. And I must say, it made a lasting impression. To see the coral reefs that are threatened. To see how the villages are struggling to keep the water of the rising ocean away. And this is exactly the theme of this evening’s event. We actually went to a village to see the work that has been done, and it’s impressive to see the resilience of the Fijian people, doing what it takes to adapt to climate change.

But as the Prime Minster knows, the ocean is also the solution. We need the ocean for the future generations and we need a healthy ocean. That is why we need to work together also on these issues. I am happy that Fiji and Norway are working closely on many issues related to the oceans.  It is important to see the opportunities as the same time as there are many challenges. Even though we are far apart, we are connected through the ocean.

So I wanted to thank you for inviting us here this afternoon, Prime Minister, and thank you for your attention

23.09.2019

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