The USP booth at the EU Day celebration.
The European Union (EU) enjoys a long-standing partnership and friendship with Fiji and other Pacific countries, said EU Head of Delegation in the Pacific, His Excellency Andrew Jacobs.
He made the comment while officiating at the Europe Day celebrations at St Joseph Secondary School in Suva on 10 May 2016.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PaCE-SD) showcased their two EU Projects at the EU Day exhibition for three days.
The booth featured the EU Global Climate Change Alliance (EU-GCCA) Project and the EU Pacific Technical Vocational Education Training for Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Adaptation (EU PacTVET) project, with staff providing information and raising awareness on the work both projects carry out in the Pacific, as well as the educational opportunities available under each – which includes the Postgraduate studies in Climate Change at USP.
His Excellency Jacobs said EU’s partnership with Fiji and the Pacific is based on our shared values, on common concerns and on common aspirations.
“We work closely with our Pacific partners to tackle global challenges - some challenges are so big that only a global response will suffice to overcome them,” he said.
He highlighted climate change as a key example saying he was confident that the close collaboration between the EU and Pacific Island Countries at COP21 in December played a major role in ensuring the good outcome that is the Paris Agreement.
“The EU and Pacific partners were, and remain, leading members of the High Ambition Coalition that pushed the bar high and got results.
“Pacific leaders particularly from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Fiji were effective in drawing attention to the plight of Pacific countries and to the need for rapid action,” he said.
“To these countries I say komol tata, ko rabwa, fakafetai, and, of course, vinaka. Europe was proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you in Paris,” he stated.
Ambassador Jacobs confirmed EU’s commitment to continue working closely with the Pacific on climate change issues as a key development partner – providing support for mitigation and adaption, and on the implementation of the Paris Agreement – which is the next big challenge.
“Everywhere in the world the EU is a major trading partner, a major investor, an important donor for humanitarian and development aid, the most significant diplomatic power.
“Too often we forget how strong we can be when united. This is why we need Europe Day: to be proud of what we have achieved, to keep in mind that we cannot take it for granted,” he emphasised.
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