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Inauguration of India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference

May 25, 2017

The ‘India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference’ hosted by Ministry of External Affairs, India, was inaugurated today by the Acting Prime Minister of Fiji, Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, in his message to the conference expressed hope that the conference would enable a better understanding of solutions to the challenges faced by the region, as well as the opportunities that present themselves.

While welcoming the high-profile delegations from 14 Pacific Island Countries, Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen. (Dr.) V K Singh (Retd.) reaffirmed India’s commitment to strengthening and taking forward its partnership with the Pacific Island Nations to take concrete action to create a sustainable world. The Minister stressed on the need to join hands through knowledge sharing, technology sharing and capacity building to minimise the serious impact of natural hazards, limiting human and economic loss.

Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen. (Dr.) V K Singh (Retd.), host of the conference, announced that India will contribute US$ 1 million to Fiji’s Trust Fund for their Presidency of COP-23 to be held in November 2017.

Speaking at the conference, Mr. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Attorney General and Minister for Economy, Public Enterprises, Civil Service and Communications, Republic of Fiji, expressed his gratitude to the Government of India for its support and contribution to Fiji’s presidency of the COP-23. He reaffirmed that the creation of FIPIC in 2014 has resulted in closer ties between India and the Pacific Island nations, giving people a chance to better their lives.

The conference is being held under the framework of the Forum for India Pacific Islands Co-operation (FIPIC), with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) as its key knowledge partner. Other key partners at the conference include National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF).

During the two days of the programme, the conference will focus on issues such as the blue economy, adaptation-mitigation practices for climate change, disaster preparedness, health, the International Solar Alliance as well as finding practical solutions to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) implementation. The conference will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experience, and initiate public-private partnerships and collaborations for the benefit of all participating countries. Through plenary sessions and thematic tracks, it will encourage new thinking that will inform the official processes of engagement among stakeholder countries.

India engages with the Pacific Island Countries on a wide range of issues including climate change. FIPIC was formed in November 2014, to strengthen India’s relationship with the Pacific Island Countries. The first FIPIC summit was held at the level of Heads of Government in November 2014 in Suva, Fiji, followed by the FIPIC-II summit held in August 2015, in Jaipur, India.

On the sidelines of the conference, Minister of State of External Affairs had meetings with President of Fiji Major General (Ret'd) Jioji Konusi Konrote, Fijian Parliament Speaker Dr. Jiko Luveni, President of Nauru Mr. Baron Waqa, Premier of Niue Mr Toke Tofukia Talagi, Acting Prime Minister and Attorney General of Fiji Mr. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Minister of Defence of Fiji Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Deputy Prime Minister of Tuvalu Mr. Maatia Toafa, Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa Ms. Fiame Naomi Mataafa, Minister of Finance of Cook Islands Mr. Mark Brown and Member of Parliament of Kiribati Mr. Tekena Tiroa and discussed bilateral relations.

India also signed several Memoranda of Understanding with Pacific Island Nations to deepen co-operation across a variety of fields. These include MoUs for setting up of Centres of Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT) with Fiji, Cook Islands, Nauru, Samoa and Niue.

India and Fiji also signed three MOUs for ‘Co-operation in Youth Development’, ‘Cooperation between Broadcasting Agencies’, ‘Cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy’. Prasar Bharti of India also gifted programmatic content on India for telecast to all the Pacific Island Contries.

May 25, 2017

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