ijian Prime Minister, Honourable Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama joined the United Nations and global leaders in helping to shape a bold and comprehensive plan to fund a resilient global recovery post COVID-19. PM Bainimarama joined the Canadian Prime Minister, Rt. Hon Justin Trudeau; Prime Minister of Jamaica, Rt. Hon Andrew Holness and the UN Secretary General His Excellency, António Guterres in welcoming policy proposals for “Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the era of COVID19 and Beyond” at a Leaders Event. 

The meeting held today at the margins of the UNGA 75 enabled discussions on the need for concrete financing solutions to “build back better”. The proposals were shaped over the past several months by Finance Ministers of many countries including the Minister for Economy Honourable Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. 

PM Bainimarama said financing is the most critical element that the World needs to put right in order to advance the global goals (SDG’s). The Prime Minister reminded leaders that financing needs of Small Island Developing States was acute given that they are responding to the twin crisis of climate change and COVID19. 

He said that exceptional measures were needed to respond to the pressures that the smallest states are facing. “COVID-19 is an unprecedented challenge for small developing states, but the pain is not unfamiliar.  Like climate change, we bear the unjust burden of unequal impacts from a crisis we did not start and we cannot solve alone.  

“Whether the challenge is stopping viral transmission or cutting carbon emissions, uni-lateralism and inaction threaten us most of all. If either win out, we lose everything”. “We small nations know that striving for the status quo means doubling down on a path that accelerates global warming. Instead we must use this recovery as our rallying point towards more and better multi-lateralism. 

The trillions of dollars in economic stimulus packages put forward by advanced countries cannot look backwards to fossil fuels. They must look forward, to a long-sighted recovery, to gender equity, to digital inclusivity, to less inequality, to blue and green development, and onto achieving the life-or-death target of net-zero emissions by mid-century. For the most vulnerable nations, work towards that future is not a question of resolve but of resources,”

PM Bainimarama said. PM Bainimarama said that “sustainability and inclusivity” should be at the heart of the financing strategy to realise the common aspirations of rebuilding stronger with solidarity. “The present financing available to us is insufficient, and our archaic multi-lateral development finance framework is out-of-touch with the realities of the 21st century. 

“I join my fellow SIDS Leaders in calling for a mere one percent of the global stimulus deployed by rich countries to be targeted to fund sustainable, gender-sensitised recoveries across our economies, along with guarantees that a COVID-19 vaccine once viable will not be treated purely as a commodity but as a global social good. “Take it from us, the small states who are all-too-familiar with climate-driven devastation: When crisis strike, we must always build back better, more sustainably, and in solidarity with the most vulnerable. 

“That simple choice, made every day at every level of leadership, is where our better, global recovery from COVID-19 begins,” PM Bainimarama told the UN officials. Fiji has worked closely with the Governments of Canada, Jamaica, UK, the EU and Rwanda in shaping the specific proposals on sustainability and inclusive recovery that were considered by the Heads of Government at this High Level meeting. Following this meeting, the UN will work with leaders to refine and finalise the core elements of a global framework for financing for sustainable recovery for consideration by World’s leaders later in 2020. 

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