Paris climate change pact ‘not enough to save us’, warns Fiji PM

By Nasik Swami in Suva

Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama closing UN Oceans Conference… “Paris Agreement not enough to save us”. Image: The Ocean Conference
Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama closing UN Oceans Conference… “Paris Agreement not enough to save us”. Image: The Ocean Conference

Current national contributions by countries to the Paris Agreement on climate change are not enough to save the Pacific, says Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

“We have to try to persuade the rest of the world to embrace even more ambitious action in the years to come, because we all know that even the current national contributions to the Paris Agreement are not enough to save us,”

he said, addressing Pacific leaders as the UN Oceans Conference came to a close in New York last week.

As the incoming president of COP23, Bainimarama called on the Pacific and its leaders to stand by him and demand decisive action, as climate change was an issue of critical importance to the region’s collective future.

“I want your input. I need your input. And I want every Pacific leader beside me as we demand decisive action to protect the security of our people and those in other vulnerable parts of the world.”

Bainimarama also outlined his worry that America’s decision to abandon the Paris Agreement may also encourage other nations to either back away from the commitments they have made or not implement them with the same resolve.

“We are all, quite naturally, bitterly disappointed by the decision of the Trump Administration to abandon the Paris Agreement,” he said.

“Not only because of the loss of American leadership on this issue of critical importance to the whole world, but because it may also encourage other nations to either back away from the commitments they have made or not implement them with the same resolve.

“But something wonderful is also happening. The American decision is galvanising opinion around the world in support of decisive climate action.

‘Widespread rebellion’
“Other nations and blocs like China, the European Union and India are stepping forward to assume the leadership that Donald Trump has abandoned. And within America itself, there is a widespread rebellion against the decision the President has taken.”

Bainimarama said dozens of American state governors and city mayors were banding together with leaders of the private sector, civil society and ordinary citizens to redouble their efforts to meet this challenge.

“So while the Trump Administration may have abandoned its leadership on climate change, the American people haven’t.

“Next week, I will go to California to meet the Democrat Governor Jerry Brown and sign up to the climate action initiative that he is spearheading. I am also in contact with his Republican predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who shares Governor Brown’s commitment.

“The point is that on both sides of American politics, we have friends who are standing with us in this struggle. And I am inviting both Governor Brown and the famous ‘Terminator’ to come to our pre-COP gathering in Fiji in October, where we hope they will join us in a gesture of solidarity with the vulnerable just before COP23 itself in Bonn the following month.”

The Paris Agreement, which Fiji has ratified, sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

Nasik Swami is a reporter with The Fiji Times

Methodist Church support West Papua

Siteri Sauvakacolo, Fiji Times Online, Saturday, March 14, 2015

SUPPORT for the indigenous people of West Papua continues to gather momentum.

On Thursday, about 50 Methodist Church heads of divisions signed the solidarity movement for West Papua petition forms at Suva’s Centenary Church in support of the call for the freedom of the natives of West Papua.

This petition drive headed by the Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education and Advocacy would be handed to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the end of April.

“There is a united umbrella body now, the Fiji’s Solidarity Movement for West Papua, and the church does not enter into anything lightly. We have been moving to this for a number of years now, this was back in 2013 when our relationship with West Papua started,”

church secretary for communications Reverend James Bhagwan said.

“It is not just lip service we are doing. We are committed to the West Papua issue and we kindly requested our church leaders to show their support to the issue.

“We took them through a presentation before they signed the petitions. We will hope to send it out to the divisions if possible and in issues like this, we make sure the church moves together and we do everything together.”

PIANGO: Hak penentuan nasib sendiri harus didukung mayoritas rakyat

Dame Meg Taylor (tengah) Sekretaris Jenderal Pacific Islands Forum - IST
Dame Meg Taylor (tengah) Sekretaris Jenderal Pacific Islands Forum – IST

Jayapura, Jubi – Sekretaris Jenderal Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (PIANGO), menegaskan bahwa perjuangan West Papua untuk keanggotaan di badan-badan regional dan kemerdekaan dari Indonesia adalah wujud ‘penghormatan atas aspirasi otonomi lebih luas oleh orang-orang yang dikoloni’.

Hal itu dikemukakan Dame Meg Taylor  dalam pidatonya di konferensi PIANGO ke-8 di Suva, Fiji, minggu lalu.

“Aspirasi untuk kemerdekaan harus didukung oleh setidaknya mayoritas penduduk… dan tidak memicu konflik sosial,” kata Sekretaris Jenderal Forum Kepulauan Pasifik (PIF) tersebut.

Saat ini, enam negara anggota PIF, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu dan Tonga, telah angkat bicara di Sidang Umum PBB untuk mengadvokasi hak rakyat West Papua.

Dan menurut Dame Meg, dalam 45 tahun sejarah konsolidasi PIF, para anggotanya memang menggunakan kekuatan jumlah mereka untuk mengadvokasi, sebagai sebuah kawasan, sesama tetangganya yang tidak memiliki akses ke platform internasional karena kurangnya status internasional mereka.

“Penentuan nasib sendiri adalah prinsip fundamental dalam hukum internasional seperti ditegaskan oleh Pasal 1 Piagam PBB,” ujarnya.

Hal ini mengemuka dalam pernyataan pertama Sekjend PIF bahwa keputusan menerima French Polynesia dan Kaladonia Baru sebagai ‘keputusan yang tidak pasti dalam banyak hal.’

“Di dalam Sekretariat kami terus bekerja keras untuk mengklarifikasi dampak praktis dan hukum dari keputusan Forum Pimpinan menerima keanggotaan tersebut,” ujar Meg.

“Lebih luasnya, ada persoalan lain yang harus kita pertimbangkan, khususnya dalam konteks Forum Kepulauan Pasifik, yang punya kriteria keanggotaan tradisional itu meliputi kedaulatan penuh dan pemerintahan sendiri-sepenuhnya,” demikian ungkap Meg.

Seperti diketahui, French Polynesia dan Kaledonia Baru masih termasuk di dalam daftar dekolonisasi PBB, masing-masing dari Perancis.(*)

New opposition grouping planned for Fiji

Two former stalwarts of Fiji’s main opposition party are in the throes of setting up a new party to fight the next election.

Youth activist Peter Waqavonovono and a former opposition leader Mick Beddoes say they’re planning a new political entity which will be youth driven.
Mick Beddoes.

Mick Beddoes.
Mick Beddoes. Photo: twitter

In a statement they said a draft constitution had been completed and talks with various groups were taking place.

They say its purpose is to help form a grand opposition coalition before the 2018 polls.

The men resigned in June from Sodelpa following the appointment of the former coup leader Sitiveni Rabuka as party leader.

Electoral rules require parties to have signed up at least 5,000 members across Fiji and impose hefty fines and imprisonment on those holding themselves out as a political party without first being registered.

Netanyahu akan kunjungi Fiji

 Perdana Menteri Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. –rt.com
Perdana Menteri Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. –rt.com

Jerusalem, Jubi – Perdana Menteri Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu akan mengunjungi Fiji dalam rangkaian lawatannya ke Singapura dan Australia Februari mendatang. Israel mulai memprioritaskan kerjasama dengan negara-negara kepulauan kecil seperti Fiji dalam rangka mengumpulkan dukungan di forum Perserikatan Bangsa-bangsa.

Netanyahu memaparkan rencana kebijakannya itu di sela diskusi dengan komunitas Yahudi-Amerika melalui sambungan langsung video dari Jerusalem. “Mengapa saya mengunjungi Fiji? Karena 15 negara, 15 kepulauan ini mempunyai satu hak suara di PBB juga akan datang ke Fiji,” ujar Netanyahu.

Perjalanan ke negara-negara kecil ini dinilai penting. Menurut dia, negara-negara kepulauan kecil ini dihuni oleh 910.000 penduduk yang tentu lebih besar dari Jerusalem. Jika kunjungan ini jadi dilaksanakan nanti, maka ini akan menjadi kunjungan perdana menteri Israel pertama kali ke negara-negara kepulauan kecil seperti Fiji.

“Saya sampaikan kepada Anda bahwa kita tidak akan menunggu sampai satu dekade lagi, Israel akan meraih suara mayoritas di PBB karena bantuan dan dukungan negara-negara kecil ini. Memang ini tidak akan terjadi esok hari, tapi ini akan terjadi, cepat atau lambat,” ujar Netanyahu.

Dalam pergaulan internasional, Fiji telah mengirimkan pasukannya untuk bergabung bersama pasukan penjaga perdamaian PBB yang bertugas di perbatasan Israel-Suriah di Libanon dan di dataran tinggi Golan, Mesir dan Irak sejak tahun 1978.

Awal bulan lalu, perdana menteri Fiji, Frank Bainimarama mengunjungi Israel. Pada kesempatan itu, Netanyahu berterima kasih kepada Bainimarama atas dukungan yang diberikan Fiji terhadap Israel dalam ajang pertemuan multilateral.

“Ada keterikatan antara rakyat Israel dengan Fiji. Kita sama-sama bukan negara besar tapi kita sama-sama memiliki kesempatan untuk bekerjasama dalam berbagai hal,” katanya.

Pada kesempatan itu, Bainimarama juga menyambut baik. “Sebaga orang Fiji, kami selalu menghormati orang Israel sebagai kawan baik dan menghormati seperti kami menghormati kawan-kawan dekat kami di kawasan Pasifik,” ujar Bainimarama. (*)

Ro Teimumu: Fiji Menguat Dukung Papua Barat

Kabar Mapegaa 10.39.00

Ro Teimumu Kepa, Photo/Fijisun.com/KM/2016/
Ro Teimumu Kepa, Photo/Fijisun.com/KM/2016/

Yogyakarta (KM)—Pemimpin Oposisi Fiji, Ro Teimumu Kepa, mengatakan memberikan dukungan kepada ULMWP pada keanggotaan MSG merupakan sebuah aksi tanggung jawab yang dapat di lakukan oleh setiap Pemimpin Melanesia.

Kepa mengatakan, Indonesia berusaha menjadi keanggotaan blok regional hanya untuk melindungi kepentingan sendiri dan telah menunjukkan rasa tidak hormat kepada keprihatinan Melanesia terhadap Papua, bahwa genosida sedang berlangsung di Papua Barat.

“Ro Teimumu telah menyatakan mendukung penuh untuk ULMWP sebagai keanggotaan penuh pada pertemuan MSG di Honiara”.

Lanjut Dia, mengatakan Indonesia tidak punya keinginan untuk terlibat dalam dialog tentang isu-isu hak asasi manusia dan mereka telah menunjukkan hal ini berkali-kali dalam setiap serangan pandangannya terhadap ‘pejuang kemerdekaan Papua’ dan penindasan kegiatan penentuan nasib mereka.

Ia bergabung dalam ribuan orang Fiji yang merasa kuat tentang perubahan pada posisi negara dan menyuarakan kebebasan dan kemerdekaan Papua Barat, Bebernya lagi.

Dengan memberikan keanggotaan penuh, para pemimpin Melanesia akan langsung menanggapi terhadap keinginan untuk mengakhiri kekerasan waja anggota ULMWP,ungkapnya.

Kepemimpinan KTT MSG adakan pertemuan minggu ini di Honiara, Salomon Island.

Sumber: Radio NZ

Change of mood on West Papua issue

AVINESH GOPAL, Fiji Times Online, Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Update: 12:23PM PACIFIC Islands Association of NGOs executive director Emele Duituturaga says the groundswell of support for West Papua across the region is the ideal build up to the upcoming Forum Leaders meeting in Federated States of Micronesia.

Ms Duituturaga made the comments after presenting the issue of West Papua to the Regional Civil Society Forum in Suva last week.

“There is definitely a change of mood across the Pacific on this issue as they begin to understand the severity of the human rights abuses and violence faced by West Papuans and the colonial history,” she said in a statement today.

“Our CSO forum heard of issues raised in national consultations and what other CSO partners had echoed and we were pleased to hear that there is widespread support from CSO partners across the region for this as a priority regional issue.

“So it is heartening to see West Papua under the list of initiatives for leaders consideration in the summary of recommendations compiled by the Forum Specialist Sub-Committee on Regionalism.”

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